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Foodbank ‘working tirelessly’ to help those in need during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 16:23 04 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 04 May 2020

Volunteers at the Lowestoft Foodbank distribution centre. Picture: Ben Parish/Lowestoft Foodbank

Volunteers at the Lowestoft Foodbank distribution centre. Picture: Ben Parish/Lowestoft Foodbank

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Huge numbers of people in food poverty have been supported amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

Lowestoft Foodbank has seen a 112 per cent year-on-year increase in numbers needing its services across east Suffolk.

The vital service, which has helped thousands of people with food when they need it most, has reported a record spike in need.

Lowestoft Foodbank volunteers at the distribution centre. Picture: Ben Parish/Lowestoft FoodbankLowestoft Foodbank volunteers at the distribution centre. Picture: Ben Parish/Lowestoft Foodbank

Stark figures show that last month (April 2020) 1,010 people were fed by Lowestoft Foodbank – which compares to 477 people in April 2019.

It means that 112pc more emergency food parcels have been given out during the pandemic at seven foodbank centres across Lowestoft, Kessingland and Saxmundham – with 40% of the 1,010 people supported being children.

And as officials at the Foodbank, which is led by Lowestoft Community Church, in conjunction with poverty charity the Trussell Trust, and is supported by Lowestoft Rising and Access Community Trust, praise the “amazing support of everyone” they have called on the public to continue to assist them with supplies.

It comes after the Trussell Trust reported its network’s busiest ever period, with 81pc more emergency food parcels being given out across the UK compared to the same period in 2019.

Lowestoft Foodbank was formed in October 2017 with more than 4,000 people supplied with a three-day emergency food package during its first year of operating.

As the global pandemic took hold, shoppers converged on supermarkets in March to stock up on items as dwindling stocks hit Lowestoft Foodbank and the demand for emergency food parcels kept growing.

Lowestoft Foodbank operations manager, Sam Porter, said: “We have seen huge numbers come through our doors but the support from East Suffolk Council, Lowestoft Rising, the supermarkets, shops, schools, local businesses, churches and of course the general public, has been astonishing.

“We have been able to support a huge amount of people who are experiencing food poverty at this time of crisis.

“Our volunteers are working tirelessly to get the donations out to the people who are needing it most.

“I would publicly like to say thank you to them all, they are an amazing bunch!”

Mr Porter added: “During April we fed 1,010 people, this compares to 477 people in April 2019 - so that is an increase of 112pc. Of that 1010, 40pc are children.”

With donations gratefully received via the collection points at Morrisons, Asda, Tesco and Co-Op stores, Lowestoft Foodbank remains short of items such as tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit and long-life fruit juice.

Visit lowestoft.foodbank.org.uk or its Lowestoft Foodbank Facebook page.


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