THE charity running hundreds of foodbanks is appealing for public support as it gears up for its busiest Christmas so far.
The Trussell Trust said December last year was its busiest month on record, with almost 150,000 three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis, including 61,000 to children.
Recent statistics showed a 13% rise in foodbank use in the first six months of the financial year, suggesting this December will break records.
Many foodbanks will be distributing presents this year as well as food, and more than ever will be running holiday clubs and community meals for families to make sure they have a hot meal and company over the Christmas break, said the Trust.
Mark Ward, interim chief executive said: “For many, this Christmas will not be a time for celebration. Every year we see a spike in demand at Christmas but this year foodbanks are expecting their busiest Christmas ever.
“At Christmas foodbanks will be working hard to provide not only those regular essentials, like pasta and cereal, but also little extras that offer hope at a time when people need it most.
“The stories are as inspiring as they are heart-breaking – one mum told us that she was relieved as her daughter’s first Christmas was taken care of with help from the foodbank.
“Last December, the public’s generosity meant foodbanks could help thousands of people across the country, but when the festive season is over there will still be people in our communities unable to afford food.
“Foodbanks rely on donations, which is why we’re asking the public to show that same generosity again, not only this December but in the months that follow Christmas too.”
Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, commented: “Despite what the Government might think, it is absolutely unacceptable that so many families rely on foodbanks to get through Christmas.
“We know that the Tories’ botched Universal Credit roll out, and their freeze to social security are causing people to visit foodbanks to make ends meet.
“The social security system should not increase the need for foodbanks.
“Labour is calling on the Government to pause and fix Universal Credit before Christmas, and lift the harmful social security freeze.”
The Trust has a network of 420 foodbanks across the UK.
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