Almost 750 people have used Doncaster’s main food bank in the three months since it opened, says the charity running it.
The ‘shocking’ figures were disclosed when local MP Rosie Winterton visited the Doncaster Food bank at Christ Church, Thorne Road, to meet with volunteers and find out about how they are helping people in the borough.
Doncaster Food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s UK Food bank network and opened last September, run in partnership with Doncaster churches.
They provide a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced non-perishable food for local people in crisis.
Clients are given a food bank voucher by frontline care professionals such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, housing, mental health, schools liaison and other social work teams across Doncaster, if they are judged to be in need of emergency food.
In its first three months Doncaster food bank has distributed 6,200kg of food to feed 741 people, 169 of them children.
A Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam report has warned that the demand at food banks may continue to grow even further as the full impact of the Government’s changes to benefits take effect.
Doncaster Central MP Mrs Winterton said: “The recent growth in the number of people in Doncaster visiting food banks and facing hunger on a daily basis is shocking.
“It is now vital that the Government take urgent action to address this and tackle the cost of living crisis that is pushing increasing numbers of families into severe hardship.”
Less than five per cent of food bank clients are homeless, many are working families struggling to make ends meet.
Currently, there are 44 Doncaster-based statutory agencies, charities and schools issuing food vouchers. More than 90 per cent of food given out is donated by the public.
The food bank also provides a place to chat with clients, offering a listening ear and helping to assess any further needs they might have and provide information on a range of support services in Doncaster.