A WORCESTER foodbank chief who faced the busiest Christmas in the charity’s history has called on those bidding to claim power in this year’s elections to make ‘tackling poverty a priority.’
A record 2,605 adults and children needed the foodbanks help to ensure they had enough food to eat over December- the busiest month since it was formed in 2012.
This stressful festive season comes at the end of a year which has seen the charity feed, on average, around 1,400 people a month.
Referrals also rose by more than 60 per cent in July compared to the same month last year.
Foodbank bosses said they have had to bolster their team of volunteers to cope with an ‘almost relentless surge in referrals’ in 2023, with more households finding themselves unable to afford the cost of essentials.
The charity is also spending around £5,000 each week to meet the skyrocketing demand and boost its stock levels at its Lowesmoor warehouse.
This need for an extra injection of food comes, chiefs said, despite the ‘unwavering support of the local community’ who have been providing donations.
Foodbank manager Grahame Lucas said: “It has been an exhausting year for our amazing team but we continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“They have refused to turn their back on the record number of people threatened with hunger and that gives us some hope.
“It’s not fair, right or sustainable that so many people are being forced to rely on emergency food to avoid going hungry.
“Everyone should be provided with enough income to cover the cost of essentials so that foodbanks like ours are no longer needed.”
Mr Lucas also urged those bidding to become members of Parliament in this year’s upcoming general election to do what they can to ensure everyone can afford the basics.
The foodbank is currently appealing for tins of baked beans having run out of supplies.
Visit worcester.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/ to donate to the foodbank.