10:01 Tuesday 10 December 2013

Food bank handouts to include festive parcels

Written byJOANNA CRAIG

Burton Salvation army christmas present appeal feature..Vic Wileman Burton Salvation army christmas present appeal feature..Vic Wileman

A FOOD bank charity will include festive treats in handouts this month - after revealing demand for parcels had doubled since last year.

The Salvation Army, which has a food bank in Tesco, in Dovefields Retail Park will include mince pies and toys in the 70 Christmas parcels which the charity estimated it will deliver to Uttoxeter people.

Vic Wileman, member of the Salvation Army said the parcels would put a smile on the face of those who would otherwise go without.

He said: “These parcels will go to the families who have nothing and will deliver a bit of festive cheer.

“The important thing is that it shows someone out there is caring for them.

“Demand has effectively doubled from what we experienced last year.”

The Salvation Army delivered 25 parcels last month and 138 parcels in Uttoxeter so far in 2013 - the same as 2,380 days worth of meals.

Mr Wileman said the charity simply would have been able to cope with the increased demand without the generosity people and organisations in the county which had donated to the Salvation Army.

He said: “We are very fortunate that people out there, whether they are individuals, companies, churches and schools have collected food.

“We send them all a thank you letter because we could not do it without their efforts.

“Without them donating food we just could not do it.

“We are just the people who deliver the parcels, it’s the other people who have donated which enables us to take it to these people.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generous donations from local companies, churches, schools, supermarkets and individuals and our own members who continue to keep giving, which has gone a long way to enable us to meet our Christmas food parcels.

“However, we seek on-going support from the public, to enable us to continue to support those families and individuals who are most in need locally.”

Mr Wileman also praised the charity’s loyal legion of volunteers who take the time to carry out the deliveries.

He said: “The volunteers who deliver these parcels save their holiday time to do so.

“Sometimes they are down packing the parcels until gone 9pm and then deliver them on their way home or before they go to work the next morning.”

Donations can be made to the Salvation Army food bank at Tesco in Dovefields Retail Park.

Mr Wileman said: “Our thanks to Tesco for their continued help and support.

“Without this support, we would not be able to meet this ever-increasing demand for help from a whole range of local people who are in need.”

The Salvation Army’s food banks are unique in that they work almost exclusively with partners.

These include social services, housing organisations, charities and other organisations working with the poor and disadvantaged in society.

Further information on the Salvation Army’s work, including its food bank campaign, is available by going online and visiting www.salvationarmy.org.uk.

All food items collected at Tesco go to needy families in the area.

Staff and volunteers of The Salvation Army devote themselves to helping people at the lowest point in their lives – homeless people who have lost everything, families trapped in poverty and older people who are forgotten and lonely.

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