A Pendle food bank is coping with unprecedented demands following a significant increase in the need of its service.
West Craven Food Bank has delivered 627 food parcels during the last 12 months – 200 more than the previous year.
The voluntary organisation, which seeks to provide “a hand up, not a hand out” to families and individuals in Barnoldswick, Earby and Colne, also reported that around half the people supported are children.
Liz Grose, secretary and volunteer co-ordinator of the food bank, said: “Our figures reflect the national trend. When we began working in 2013, we hoped we were providing a solution to a temporary problem, so to see a 48% increase in demand in the year that coincides with the roll out of Universal Credit in Pendle, is not encouraging.”
The majority of clients supported by the food bank are referred by agencies including Citizens Advice, Together Housing, HomeStart, Shelter, local schools and doctors’ surgeries. The food bank relies on the local community for donations of food and toiletries.
Julie Bryan, chairperson of the group said “In addition to the items collected each week from donation points, we have received several one-off donations.
“For example, a local band, Midlife, held a gig at the Fountain, Barnoldswick and asked each person attending to donate a bag of food, which significantly boosted our stock.
“This generosity shown by our local community enables us to help an increasing number of people who find themselves in a place of crisis, and encourage them to seek the support they need to take the next steps to improve their situation.”