VALE residents are being urged to dig deep and donate to Evesham’s foodbank as the number of people who may turn to the centre for help is expected to rise as the winter months draw in.
Caring Hands in the Vale, which is based at the Vale of Evesham Christian Centre, has been providing support to those in need for nearly 14 years.
The foodbank has seen a rise in the number of people being referred since it first opened, and in recent years this increase has largely been due to benefit changes.
Last year Caring Hands handed out 464 food parcels which provided 21,000 meals for more than 1,000 people across the Vale of Evesham.
In the first three months of 2017, the charity has already seen an 80 per cent increase in referrals and the foodbank expects to see a further rise in the number of people in need of support this autumn and winter.
As well as the foodbank, Caring Hands also provides a household bank, clothing bank, homeless bank and baby bank.
Speaking to the Observer, Diane Bennett from Caring Hands, said: “We rely on a lot of donations that come in from local churches, schools, businesses, individuals and families and we really are blessed by the amount of donations we get, especially at this time of year with harvest festival season we get a huge amount of donations.
“Our food parcels are all mainly non-perishables so we’re always looking for donations all year round for the foodbank.
“Things we always have a massive supply of are baked beans and pasta, but other than that things like tinned vegetables, packet mash, tinned rice pudding, tinned meats such as corn beef and meals in a tin – they are always welcome whatever time of year.
“Each food parcel that we donate to whoever is receiving it, whether that’s a single person or a family, should last the recipient a week. So if you can imagine how many groceries you would have for a family of six for week that’s how many items we would put in a food parcel.
“We do get through an enormous amount of groceries each week.”
There are dropping off points for the foodbank at the Tesco store on Worcester Road and the One Stop shop on the High Street.
Visit www.chands.org.uk for more information.