Hartlepool Foodbank bosses braced for higher demand this winter amid fuel crisis and food shortages
A Hartlepool food charity is bracing itself for higher demand due to the knock on effect of the energy crisis and food shortages.
Managers for Hartlepool Foodbank in Church Street, which provides people with emergency food parcels and toiletries, say they are keeping a close eye on the situation and will react accordingly.
There has been a surge in the cost of wholesale gas lately with a 70% rise since August alone.
Two fertiliser plants which produce carbon dioxide used in the food industry were affected as a result of the hikes prompting warnings of food shortages on supermarket shelves.
The Mail together with all of our sister JPI Media titles have started a new campaign – Keep Us Warm This Winter – to keep you up to date and put pressure on Government to ensure no vulnerable families find themselves without heating this winter.
Hartlepool Foodbank coordinator Lisa Lavender said the fuel crisis and potential impact was brought up during a briefing this week.
She said: “At the moment we have got an awareness. It is something we will be keeping a close eye on and responding to accordingly.
"We are part of the Trussell Trust and will take our guidance from them."
Regarding the energy crisis and possible knock on impact on the food bank, Lisa added: "Coupled with the £20 Universal Credit lifeline, if that gets withdrawn I can see demand increasing.
"We are aware there are some foods there is a shortage of due to multiple reasons."
She said they were unable to get hold of a particular item for their stocks this week as a shop had run out, but was unsure if other shops were affected.
The country has also been hit by shortages in everything from fresh fruit to meat in recent weeks due to supply chain issues.
But Lisa praised people’s ongoing generosity for the food bank which is helping their stocks to stay healthy.
"People are very generous in Hartlepool,” she said. “We’re continually receiving donations.”
And Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau has already started to see an increase in calls from people worried about what it could mean for them.