Waveney Foodbank appeal as food stocks run low
Waveney Foodbank, which covers south Norfolk, has issued an emergency appeal for food donations as dwindling stocks meaning they could run out in two months.
The foodbank has an average of 10 people referred to it every day and is 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 Matt Scade said: "Instead of holding on average 11 tonnes of food this has dropped to four and a half tonnes. 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 are actually cutting down on the amount of food each client gets because we are having to keep everything to a bare minimum."
The foodbank had distribution centres in Diss, Harleston, Long Stratton, Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth, and villages around Eye to Laxfield and Wickham Market to Framlingham.
Matt said demand was outstripping supply due to increasing numbers of people being referred and seeking help from the service.
"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."
The warehouse has enough soup, baked beans and cereals, but 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.
The service hopes to boost donations at its network of collection points at churches across South Norfolk as well as supermarkets including Morrisons, Tesco and Co-Op. People can also do an online shop and get it delivered to the foodbank or 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 unprecedented crisis," said Matt.
“On a positive note,” he said, “we have seen the lives of many of our clients dramatically change, many have seen God have a growing influence on their lives with many seeing answers to prayer, and have now given their lives to Jesus, a few have been baptised and are regularly attending church and sharing their story with others.
“Our shortage of food has thankfully not impacted on the community lunch we hold every Friday in Diss and in Harleston on the last Tuesday, when around 40 to 50 people attend and are given a two-course lunch with tea coffee and cold drinks. The meal is given free of charge but those who can afford to donate towards it do so.
“We have a varied mix of attendees from many different backgrounds, aged from a few months old up to 80 years old. We always start with prayer before we eat and ask if anyone has any prayer requests, the uptake was slow to start but seeing an answer to prayer has encouraged more and more people to ask God for help. We now may have as many as 10 prayer requests each week, this is really encouraging, the answer to prayer has led to many of our guests taking part in this year’s Alpha course.”
Go to www.waveney.foodbank.org.uk to find out where you can donate or call us on 01379 870506
Article extracts from EDP24