People are choosing between heating their homes and eating says a Doncaster food bank who are opening a new venue due to increased demand

A new food bank is opening in Doncaster due to high demand caused by Covid-19, the ending of the furlough scheme and increased energy prices.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 3:54 pm

It is not unusual for more people to rely on food banks at this time of year as the weather gets colder and bills start rising.

But the Doncaster Food Bank has noted double and even triple the amount of people using their services since the summer holidays.

Which is why they are opening a new food bank in St Paul’s Church in Wheatley.

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St Paul's in Wheatley is the new home to a food bank.

John Parr, project manager at Doncaster Food Bank, said: “It is normal for us to see about 10 food vouchers a session at the biggest centre which is St James.

“That is equivalent to feeding 30 to 50 people.

“But recently we have been seeing 20 to 30 vouchers per session.

“People are struggling between paying their household bills and buying food to eat.

“No one should have to make that choice.”

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John and his team hope the new food bank will help the local community in Wheatley as it is an area where demand is high.

“It is the third highest region where people have been referred to in the district,” John said.

“We really want to help the nearby community and offer another site for the people of Doncaster to come to on a different day of the week.

“The leadership team and volunteers who will be working there are fantastic and passionate about stopping people from being hungry.”

Despite the sharp increase in use at the food bank James and his team are sure that they can handle any surge in demand that may come in future months.

He said: “We have improved capacity and got volunteers ready for any circumstance that may arise.

“Even if we get a huge surge around Christmas we will be ready.”

The new food bank will run every Tuesday from 10am to 12pm.

The food bank asks that people acquire a food bank voucher before visiting the centre.

Vouchers can be gained at the One Stop Shop at the Civic Office and by calling Citizens Advice on 08082787955.

The food bank encourages those who are struggling to also look into the Warm Home Discount and the Household Support Fund.

The food bank doesn’t currently need volunteers but if you are interested in being added to a list for future volunteering opportunities you can email John at [email protected]

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.