THERE were 4,635 people who had to turn to Warrington Foodbank for help in the past year.
That figure includes 1,470 children whose families did not have enough money to buy food for the week.
The figures were part of Warrington Foodbank’s first year in operation with demand for emergency food more than doubling in one year across the nation.
Foodbank manager John Dolan said: “We’re seeing growing numbers turning to Warrington Foodbank for help, which shouldn’t be happening in the seventh richest country in the world.
“But the reality is that life is very difficult for people on low incomes at the moment.
“Increasing numbers are struggling to make ends meet and are hitting a crisis where they have to make choices between paying bills and eating.
“We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, which is why we’re so grateful for the incredible generosity of local people in donating food, funds and time to stop local hunger.”
The foodbank took on 51 tonnes of food donated from residents, churches and businesses to help fill the shelves of its warehouse.
But the growing demand has seen it already move to a larger base to accommodate the extra food and household goods.
And it now has a team of more than 100 volunteers helping out as the foodbank expanded from one to seven centres since first opening its doors in December 2012.
Mr Dolan added: “Currently over sixty agencies in the borough are referring people to the foodbank and more are applying to partner with us all the time. They include schools, social workers and medical centres. We are now having to consider new applications carefully as we struggle to cope with the demand.”
In a recent survey by The Trussell Trust, who run foodbanks across the country, 83 per cent said increasing benefit sactions had been the cause of the rise in people needing their help.
Warrington Foodbank provides three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to each person referred to it by a partner agency.
Feedback from people who have used the foodbank include one who said “I would literally have gone without if there wasn’t this to turn to” while another described the foodbank as ‘a true life saver’.
But the need is always there and if you can help fill the foodbank shelves with essential items visit the foodbank warehouse, 9 Tanning Court, WA1 2HF from 4pm to 7pm Monday to Thursdays.
There are lakes of soup and mountains of baked beans, pasta and tea bags but Warrington foodbank is acutely short of these items:
UHT Milk, not skimmed milk please
Dried mashed potatoes
Jams, not marmalade
Washing up liquid
Dried baby milk one, two and three
Nappies size two and three