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Salvation Army needs 70,000 food items to help meet East Staffordshire demand.

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A FOOD bank needs a huge 70,000 items in 2014 to support East Staffordshire’s neediest families, a charity has revealed.

The town’s Salvation Army said the items were needed to fill 1,500 emergency food parcels it thinks it will have delivered by the end of the year.

So far this year, the volunteers have already seen an increase in the number of people requiring their services.

Last month, 15 food parcels were provided in Uttoxeter compared to just 10 in the same month in 2013.

This will feed 21 adults and 20 children.

So far this year, 68 food parcels have been distributed across Uttoxeter compared with 38 back in 2013.

This will feed a total of 84 adults in Uttoxeter alone and 65 children.

Major Jane Morris said: “We always feel we are coping with demand in terms of donations, finance and manpower, but only just.

“We want to ensure that nobody in our community goes hungry so that’s what we are trying to do.

“But let’s just say it’s very demanding work because it has mushroomed in the last couple of years beyond our expectations.”

Latest figures from the charity continue to paint a grim picture of hunger and desperation across East Staffordshire, although the number of handouts in April fell to 78 from 109 in March.

But Vic Wileman, from The Salvation Army, said this was due to referral agencies taking their Easter holidays, which also led to more children needing help.

He said: “As expected the ratio of children is higher.

“During school holidays, children are not able to receive free school meals, which places more pressure on the family budget.

“2014 exceeds the pace to that experienced during the later months of 2013.

“With demand now running at more than double last years supplied food parcels, which in itself is double 2012.

“Our projections for this year envisaged 1,300 to 1,500 emergency food parcels.

“This will require upwards of 70,000 items of food including tinned, dry goods and fresh items.”

The charity has donation points in almost every church in Uttoxeter and the surrounding villages, which the charity says provides a regular intake of food contributions.

Tesco, on Dovefields Retail Park, also has a donation collection point for shoppers as well business, organisations, schools and individuals who regularly contribute food and financial donations.

Since January the Salvation Army has seen 23 people referred from Trent and Dove Housing, 21 from social services in Uttoxeter, 38 from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, two from Changes in Uttoxeter, three from the Art and Soul Friendship Group, one from Staffordshire County Council and two from Staffordshire Police.

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