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Plea for East Lancashire foodbank supplies for Christmas
WITH Christmas fast approaching, many of us are stocking our cupboards with festive treats — but food poverty in the region continues to be a problem and the Lancashire Telegraph is urging readers to back local foodbanks in time for the big day.
Our foodbank campaign was launched in June after an article uncovered the staggering amount of food poverty in the region.
Foodbanks traditionally experience their busiest periods during school holidays when many children and families suffer without the aid of their free school meal.
Genevieve Waite, of Community Solutions Foodbank in Burnley and Hyndburn, said: “We have seen a steady increase in users throughout the year but we have definitely seen a lot more referrals in the run-up to Christmas.
“We are expecting to be busiest right before Christmas when the schools break up and after the Christmas period and in January and February when families will be struggling for finances after the increased spend.
“We are putting a real emphasis on collecting donations like nappies and toiletries as well as food as that can be a big added expense.
“We are also encouraging people to donate sweets and treats so that we can spread a little Christmas cheer in our food parcels.”
A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that more than 13 million people in the UK are living in poverty and more than half of them were in employment.
The shocking figures show that for the first time ever, more people in work are classed as living in poverty due to falling wages and the increased cost of living.
Earlier in the week, scientists and public health experts warned that food poverty was a “public health emergency” that could be linked to changes to benefits.
Ros Duerden, of the Blackburn Foodbank, which has fed over 6,000 people since it opened in November, said: “Christmas is a time of huge financial burden for families and we have definitely seen a steady increase in the number of working people we get referred to us.
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