FOODBANK bosses have warned ‘even more challenging’ months lie ahead despite the Lowesmoor site feeding a record number of people in the countdown to Christmas.
Volunteers defied the challenges posed by Covid-19 to provide meals to a staggering 1,654 people throughout December – the busiest month since the charity opened its doors almost a decade ago.
Their efforts were buoyed by the kindness of Worcester residents which enabled the foodbank to provide 651 toyshop gift cards, worth more than £9,700, to families unable to afford presents for their children.
However, the charity has issued a stark warning that pressure will only increase with the looming cost of living crisis fuelled by rising energy costs, high inflation and the prospect of another wave of household bill increases in April.
Foodbank manager Grahame Lucas said: “The generosity of local people never ceases to delight and amaze us but it is bittersweet when you witness so many households experiencing hardship.”
“These are not the sort of records we want to be breaking and yet we find ourselves sliding into another cost of living crisis that will leave more people at risk of going hungry.”
Efforts by the foodbank network and other charities to alleviate the mounting pressure on struggling households have fallen on deaf ears when pleas for the Government to retain the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift were ignored.
“We are under severe pressure to maintain the flow of donations, although we know the local community will always come through for us,” he added.
“We will continue to lobby the Government to act and ensure everyone receives a living household income which covers the cost of the essentials we all depend on.”
Worcester Foodbank is also facing the task of finding a new warehouse and distribution premises, with its current Lowesmoor base earmarked for redevelopment.
Visit www.worcester.foodbank.org.uk and click on the Giving Help page for more.