North Bristol Foodbank sees demand rise during summer

October 01 2013
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The number of clients visiting a foodbank in North Bristol has more than doubled since July, say volunteers.

by Rebecca Day

The number of clients visiting a foodbank in North Bristol has more than doubled since July, say volunteers.  

The North Bristol Foodbank has recorded a 150 per cent increase from 114 clients in June to 286 in August. A total of 225 clients visited the bank in July.

The branch, which opened in August 2012, has served just under 1,500 clients since its launch and now has three outlets operating throughout North Bristol – Ebenezer Church in Horfield, Revive charity shop in Filton and a new branch at the Greenway Centre in Southmead.

“We are continuing to see an increase in demand from people in our local communities who are finding themselves in crisis situations and struggling to feed themselves or their families,” explains Stewart North, co-founder of the North Bristol Foodbank.

“With winter approaching and energy bills starting to increase, along with many other pressures, we continue to support individuals and families.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of the public in food and financial donations to meet the need on our doorstep.”

The increase in foodbank users has not only been a local issue. The Trussell Trust, which runs the foodbanks nationwide, claims that this summer has been the busiest it has ever witnessed.

According to the voluntary food aid project, the amount of people being fed by foodbanks across the country has increased since April 1 this year, when government reforms to the welfare system took effect. 

Those in need of food are identified by care professionals, who can issue the clients with foodbank vouchers. One voucher provides enough food for three days.

The Trussell Trust receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of the public, businesses and charitable trusts. Last month shoppers donated 600kg of food to the North Bristol Foodbank at Waitrose in Henleaze and volunteers are continuing to hold collections at supermarkets, while many local schools are also collecting food to donate.

  • For more information about how you can help, visit: northbristol.foodbank.org.uk or Facebook.com/northbristolfoodbank. The next supermarket collections will be at Sainsbury’s in East Filton on October 5 and at Tesco Golden Hill on November 29-30.