Foodbank receives seven tonnes of food from community to make 16,000 meals

Foodbank coordinator Abi Knowles (left) with warehouse coordinator Lisa Lavender in the Hartlepool Foodbank food storage area. Picture by FRANK REID
Foodbank coordinator Abi Knowles (left) with warehouse coordinator Lisa Lavender in the Hartlepool Foodbank food storage area. Picture by FRANK REID

Demand on Hartlepool’s Foodbank remains high after an unprecedented amount of food was donated by supporters.

The charity, which has been running for several years in Church Street, received seven tonnes of food in the run up to Christmas.

Foodbank coordinator Abi Knowles in the Hartlepool Foodbank food storage area. Picture by FRANK REID

Foodbank coordinator Abi Knowles in the Hartlepool Foodbank food storage area. Picture by FRANK REID

It was enough to make 16,800 meals and just under half was used up by the end of January.

Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator Abi Knowles said: “This year it has just been unprecedented.

“We would like to say a big thank you for the amazing donations we received this Christmas, particularly all the schools, churches, workplaces and individuals who took on the challenge of the Reverse Advent Calendar.

“We received just over seven tonnes of food in December which is amazing and is certainly keeping us going.

“In January we gave out just over three tonnes of food, and February has proved to be just as busy.

“Our food stocks are still really good but are going to go down as we get to the end of February.”

Instead of taking a piece of chocolate every day over Advent, the reverse calender worked by supporters giving a different item for the foodbank every day.

Hartlepool Foodbank currently issues about 60 vouchers a week to people in food crisis.

Each voucher is exchanged for a parcel containing a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced food.

The organisation is also appealing for support as it looks to create a charity hub at its Church Street offices.

The foodbank shares its offices with like-minded organisations including the Red Cross and Open Door, which works with refugees and asylum seekers.

Abi said: “It’s all about sharing resources and equipment. We’d love to hear from anyone who would be interested in donating to us to help further this work, in particular to help us purchase a new photocopier that all organisations can use.”