Hartlepool Foodbank’s bumper Easter eggs collection helps hundreds of needy children

Hundreds of disadvantaged Hartlepool youngsters will have a happy Easter thanks to egg-streme generosity of people.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 6:00 am
Staff from left deputy co-ordinator Lisa Lavender, co-ordinator Abi Knowles, Yordanos TSEGAI, trustee Pauline Screeton, Dave Tindall and Joyce Bradley

Around 800 chocolate Easter eggs have been given to Hartlepool Foodbank which will go to children whose families are in financial crisis.

More than 530 has come thanks to regulars and customers of the Nursery Inn pub, in Hopps Street.

Hartlepool Foodbank receive hundreds of Easter eggs. From left trustee Pauline Screeton and co-ordinator Abi Knowles

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And friends Scarlett Mason and Benjamin Cooper, both nine, from Seaton Carew, collected about 270 of the treats.

Other individuals and supporters of the food bank have also contributed to the fantastic total.

It comes as demand for the charity in Church Street remains high with managers saying there is no end in sight for the need for their help.

Abi Knowles, co-ordinator of Hartlepool Foodbank, said of the Easter eggs: “If you are struggling to buy the basics then as much as people would like to give an Easter egg it’s not going to be top of the priority list so it is nice to be able to give a little treat for children and also for adults.

Hartlepool Foodbank receive hundreds of Easter eggs. Co-ordinator Abi Knowles

“We have already started giving them out and everybody that comes will get one.

“Our supporters have surpassed themselves this year.”

Deputy co-ordinator Lisa Lavender added: “We would like to say a massive thank you to The Nursery and everyone who has given.

“It is an incredible donation, the biggest we have ever had.

“It has enabled us to share them out with other agencies that we work with such as those that visit families.”

Demand for the foodbank remains high, Abi said the number so people coming through the doors has not dropped after Christmas as previously.

Over the last 12 months the charity has given out 2,694 food parcels, feeding 5,072 people including 1,614 children.

Already this year they have helped over 1,000 adults and 471 children by providing 790 food parcels.

Abi said issues linked to Universal Credit are still one of the main reasons for people being referred.

But where as before it was due to people waiting weeks for their first payments, she says now it is because they do not have enough money.

“The main reason used to be benefit change and now it is low income.

“Now maybe they are getting payments but it is not going far enough.”

She added: “Our aim is to get to a point in Hartlepool where we don’t need these systems and structures in place because everyone has got enough to eat regardless of whether they work or have never worked.”

But she said: “I don’t see it coming down any time in the future. It is going to carry on as it is.”

The food bank is currently appealing for tined fish, pasta sauces, long life milk and juice and sweet snacks.

They can be taken to the foodbank at 28 Church Street on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11.30am-1.30pm, or permanent collection points in Tesco Extra, Asda, Morrison’s, McColls on the Headland and Sainsbury’s local stores.