Norfolk food bank sees rising demand for summer help with hungry children
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
A Norfolk foodbank has asked people to check what donations are most needed after new research revealed a spike in demand for emergency food supplies to be handed to children during the holidays.
Waveney Foodbank, based in Diss, is also urging local families to seek help if they are struggling to afford food over the summer months.
Figures from the anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust, who run a network of over 420 foodbanks, of which Waveney Foodbank is a part, last year provided 3,500 more three-day emergency food supplies to children during July and August compared to the previous two months.
Primary school aged children were most likely to receive support. Families who rely on free school meals during term time face extra financial pressure to provide main meals in the holidays, said Matthew Scade, Waveney Foodbank operations manager.
He said: 'Lots of people are just getting by day-to-day but find their income simply won't stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for extra childcare during the holidays.
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'No one should need a foodbank's help, and we're determined to work alongside other foodbanks in The Trussell Trust's network to bring about long-term change to end hunger not only during the holidays, but at any time of year.
'Whilst we work towards this, we'll continue to take practical action on the ground, providing the best emergency support possible to local people facing hunger. It's only with the community's help that we're able to continue, as we rely on local donations.'
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Last year a report from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger estimated the loss of free school meals during the holidays adds between £30 and £40 a week to parents' outgoings for one child.
Samantha Stapley, director of operations at The Trussell Trust, said: 'Foodbanks cannot, and must not, be a long term to solution to hunger at any time of year. No one should face going hungry, and although our network will be doing all they can this summer to help families struggling to make the money they have stretch to cover the essentials, no charity can replace people having enough money for the basics.'
• More details and up-to-date lists of donations on 07484 394749 or at waveney.foodbank.org.uk