People in crisis have not gone hungry this Christmas thanks to the generosity of people giving to the local Waveney Foodbank.
Its co-ordinator, Graham Reardon, has said the fantastic support of people in this area has meant that there is enough food to feed all those who are in crisis over the Christmas period.
He said: “We get amazing support from the general public. We would not be able to do what we do were it not for the generosity of ‘Joe public’.”
Between 50 and 60 per cent more people are being referred to the charity than last year.
About 40 households have been helped this month alone and in each case, they will have been referred by a welfare professional, such as a GP, the Citizens Advice Bureau and housing associations, among others. They are given a fixed amount of vouchers to help them through a difficult time.
People cannot claim from the food bank without vouchers.
“A guy came in recently who was virtually in tears,” said Mr Reardon.
“That is not at all uncommon and I can imagine that it is worse at this time of year.
“If you can’t feed your own family, it must be awful. I praise the Lord I have never been in that position.”
A little extra cheer has been brought to the food boxes this year. Treats such as Christmas puddings, Christmas crackers, even a pair of new socks have been added to some boxes.
“More people are going hungry, but more people now know about the Foodbank,” said Mr Reardon.
“Some people this year are taking the choice of whether they ‘heat or eat’.”
The charity is run by the Diss Christian Community Church, and covers a patch including Diss, Harleston, Long Stratton, Loddon, Eye, Fressingfield, Stradbroke and Rickinghall. The food bank now can make limited home deliveries.
The growing demand for its service was reported in the Diss Express in October, where we reported a 390 per cent rise in demand.
Donations to the food bank are always welcome and the volunteers worry constantly about having enough food.
Non- perishable items such as pasta, sugar, rice, tinned vegetables, fruit meat and soups, UHT milk, tea, coffee and biscuits are all welcome, among many other things.
For more information and how and where to donate, visit the website, http://waveney.foodbank.org.uk/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 2169 1078.