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Foodbank emergency appeal over fears it could run out of food

PUBLISHED: 09:38 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 06 June 2019

Waveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade and warehouse manager Jim Waters amid increasingly empty shelves. Picture: Simon Parkin

Waveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade and warehouse manager Jim Waters amid increasingly empty shelves. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A foodbank network that covers south Norfolk has issued an emergency appeal for donations with dwindling stocks meaning they could run out in two months.

Waveney Foodbank volunteer driver Gerry Rhodes, warehouse manager Jim Water and operations manager Matthew Scade. Picture: Simon ParkinWaveney Foodbank volunteer driver Gerry Rhodes, warehouse manager Jim Water and operations manager Matthew Scade. Picture: Simon Parkin

Waveney Foodbank said with an average of 10 people being referred to its services every day it is currently distributing nearly a tonne of food per week but only receiving 1.5 tonnes a month in donations at its warehouse at Brome, near Eye.

Operations manager Matthew Scade said: "So instead of holding on average 11 tons of food this has dropped to four and a half tons. It means unless donations increase dramatically over the next six to eight weeks we will have run out of food by the end of August.

"We have never seen it so low. We have actually cutting down on the amount of food each client gets because we are having to keep everything to a bare minimum."

Waveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade with food boxes. Picture: Simon ParkinWaveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade with food boxes. Picture: Simon Parkin

The service, part of The Trussell Trust's national network of foodbanks that provide emergency food and support to people in crisis, covers towns on both sides of the Norfolk-Suffolk border, with distribution centres in Diss, Harleston, Long Stratton, Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth, and villages around and between Eye to Laxfield and Wickham Market to Framlingham.

Mr Scade said demand was outstripping supply due to increasing numbers of people being referred and seeking help from the service.

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"We started in 2012 feeding 80 people, but over the last 10 weeks we are now up to over 1,000," he said. "The factors are the Universal Credit six week wait, rising rent costs, private rental especially, rising cost of living that means many people are just one big bill away from being wiped out.

"People assume it is people on benefits but it isn't. Not even a third of our clients are on full-time benefits, over half are in full-time work but they just miss that threshold for benefits."

While the warehouse has enough soup, baked beans and cereals, there are fast dwindling stocks of pasta sauces, fruit juice, tinned fruit, vegetables and tomatoes, instant noodles and rice, puddings and jam, with just three jars left this week.

Waveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade is appealing for donations over fears it could run out of stock. Picture: Simon ParkinWaveney Foodbank operations manager Matthew Scade is appealing for donations over fears it could run out of stock. Picture: Simon Parkin

The service hopes to boost donations at its network of collection points.

Mr Scade said: "Any Morrisons, Tesco or Co-Op and 99pc of local churches have a collection point. Every town in South Norfolk has one of them, or people can do an online shop and get it delivered to us here at the warehouse or they can donate shopping vouchers.

"We really need to ask all our donors to be as generous as they possibly can be, to help us through this unprecidented crisis."

- Full details of how to help can be found at Waveney Foodbank

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