THE demand for food parcels is continuing to rise as January saw three times as many people benefit from the service.
The Salvation Army covering East Staffordshire said it delivered 15 food parcels to Uttoxeter families in January compared to just five in 2013. These parcels fed 22 adults and 16 children.
This means the charity has supplied 86 parcels across East Staffordshire so far this year compared to 44 in 2013. These served 116 people and 81 children.
Nine of the people who used the service were referred to the charity through Trent and Dove Housing, five through social services covering Uttoxeter, two through the NHS, one through Homstart, nine through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, two through the Art and Soul Friendship Group and one from the police.
Vic Wileman, of the charity, said: “The considerable help and support given by the churches, schools and other organisations within Uttoxeter and surrounding villages is fantastic, with bags of food being either received at Penbryn or left on my doorstep on a regular basis.
“The churches each have a food collection box for member’s contributions. This is supplemented with donations in the food collection box in Tesco. All of the food collected is used locally.”
The Salvation Army provides food parcels intended to last for seven days and members have provided food for 197 individuals, which equates to 1,379 days’ worth of meals, so far this year.
Mr Wileman added: “We have provided in excess of 3,500 items of food during the month which includes tins, dry goods and fresh items.
“2014 starts at a similar pace to that experienced during the latter months of 2013. The demand however is running at double last year, which in itself is double 2012. With this level of demand, we find our cupboards are almost empty, creating a need for significant funds to be invested in ensuring every request for food help is met as the need occurs.
“The holistic approach we undertake with our partners ensures that not only do we put food in the mouths of those in need, the issues that have caused this situation are addressed.”
Anyone wishing to donate food or cash can call Major Jane Morris on 01283 563627 or Mr Wileman on 01889 564117.