Doncaster Foodbank fundraising to provide packs of warming essentials to families and those in need this winter
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The foodbank which runs four4 sessions a week in the city, across three sites, is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
They provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred by various partner agencies as identified in crisis.
Last financial year, the charity fed 8,162 people which is a 100 per cent increase compared to the 4,089 fed in the year before and vastly more than the reported national increase reported by The Trussell Trust, of 37 per cent across their UK Foodbanks.
This huge rise in demand has led to bulk shopping bills of up to £2,000 a month in an effort to plug the gaps caused by a drop in donations, as the ongoing Cost of Living Crisis continues to affect everyone in our society regardless of their status, with over six per cent of current service users reported being working families who do not receive benefits, and many others reaching out to get help for the very first time.
Project Manager, Julie Poland, told us about their latest campaign which is running now for another six weeks on Crowdfunder.
She said, “Last winter, between November and February, we fed 3,137 people which included almost 1,500 children and we know, that household energy bills were partly responsible for the need for our support.
"This Winter, we don't just want people to be fed, we want them to be warm too. Alongside our usual emergency food parcels, we are planning to provide a Warming Essentials Pack to anyone visiting our foodbank centres who is having to make the gut-wrenching choice between heating and eating, and we're asking for help to do this.
"Anyone can do a sponsored challenge, arrange a collection to donate, or help us to source the items needed at cost and what’s fantastic, is that any funds raised are currently eligible for a massive match funding boost from the Crowdfunder Cost of Living Emergency Fund, so every individual donation we receive via our crowdfunding page up to £250 will be DOUBLED.
"There are rewards available for those who donate as well! As a community-based charity, we rely on the kindness and generosity of others to help us help those facing food poverty, and we are sincerely grateful and blown away by the continued support we receive.”
Each pack will include slipper socks, gloves, a scarf and hat, a small fleece blanket and items like hot water bottles or wheat bags, sachets of soup/porridge and hot chocolate,
flasks and re-useable bottles, dependant on the household cooking facilities and requirements.
The team have said they would also like to try and stave off some of the boredom and isolation that is often felt particularly during the winter months when weather is traditionally
coldest and funds lowest, by offering a small activity which doesn't require electricity for entertainment, such as boardgames and puzzles or perhaps supply wool/handicrafts for
those who like to be creative.
Julie continued: “ We know this is a large project for us to action, especially with Harvest Festival collections happening soon and Christmas coming up too (our busiest time of the
year), as well as this year being our tenth anniversary, but everyday, we see the growing needs that our community faces and we're committed to supporting as many families facing food poverty as we can.”
There are various ways that you can get involved if you are interested in supporting Doncaster Foodbank and several volunteer opportunities available throughout the season.