Hartlepool Foodbank appeals for donations at busiest time of the year

Food bank leaders are appealing for donations ahead of their busiest time of the year with Christmas rapidly approaching.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 2:26 pm
Hartlepool Foodbank volunteers with some of the donations during the Tesco collection.

Hartlepool Foodbank, based in Church Street, recently collected 1.8 tonnes worth of food from an annual three-day collection at Tesco Extra in Burn Road.

It will help the Trussell Trust charity to provide food, toiletries and gifts to families who struggle to make ends meet over the festive period.

But the food bank is still appealing for donations as the Tesco collection was down on the three tonnes of food collected last year.

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A total of 1.8 tonnes worth of food and toiletries were donated during the collection.

And some clients have told food bank workers that they can not afford to buy their children presents this Christmas.

Abi Knowles, co-ordinator of Hartlepool Foodbank, said: “It is massively busier over the Christmas period and have already started to notice that over the last couple of sessions.

“There is pressure on people to spend and combined with debt and issues around Universal Credit.

“We have had people who have come down and said ‘my kids aren’t going to get any presents this year’ because that’s the way their finances are.

“We saw a similar thing last year; it’s really sad when that’s the situation for people.”

But the food bank will be providing presents such as selection boxes.

And despite the Tesco collection being lower than hoped for, Abi said they also received welcome cash donations and was as much a chance to raise awareness.

“We got a really good range of items, lots of food but also lots of excellent toiletries including a whole trolley load from one kind person,” said Abi.

“These will go such a long way to helping us support people who are struggling over Christmas which is traditionally our busiest time.”

Donations of toiletries, tinned fruit, tinned fish, tinned meat, biscuits, snacks and jars of coffee would be welcome to help boost stocks into the New Year.

They can be taken to the food bank in Church Street during opening hours on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11.30am and 1.30pm, or left at drop off points in most supermarkets in Hartlepool.

The food bank will be closed after Friday, December 20, and will re-open on Tuesday, January 7.