Foodbank in demand ahead of Christmas

Pictured (L-R): Lincoln Foodbank volunteers: Shelagh Collins, Alison Chester, Mark Chester and Bethan Lloyd.

The Foodbank charity, which helps families in need across Lincoln, says that demand for its services ramped up ahead of Christmas.

Set up by the Trussel Group in association with the Acts Trust in 2008, the scheme provides support for people and families in financial or emotional difficulties.

Acts Trust Co-Ordinator Bethan Lloyd said: “Interest in the Foodbank always increases around Christmas.”

Bethan, who has been with the scheme since it was set up, believes that the Foodbank is a good way to get involved in the community:

“What I love most about it is that it’s a practical way for people in the community to get involved and help people.”

Around 63% of the people who use the Foodbank are forced to due to benefits problems, a situation that the charity believes won’t get better any time soon.

“A lot of the people who come in here suffer with problems budgeting,” Bethan explained.

The Foodbank scheme is unique in how it provides further support to its users, attempting to address the problems that have caused the people to use the Foodbank.

Working with organisations like Christians against Poverty and Surestart, the volunteers look at the underlying issues affecting these people.

Funding for the scheme is entirely donation based and volunteers at the Bridge centre, where the project is based, often work multiple shifts in a week.

“The majority of the food we use is from our supermarket collections, where we stand outside of supermarkets in yellow high visibility jackets and hand out lists of items that we can collect.

“People are usually very generous,” Bethan added. Long serving volunteer Shelagh Collins said “There is a need for this service in the area.”

The Foodbank scheme operates by producing parcels called Foodboxes, which include three days worth of non-perishable food such as tinned vegetables, pasta and rice pudding.

The food boxes also include menu planners which are intended to help the users create healthy, balanced meals.

The Foodbank volunteers will be collecting food outside Morrisons Supermarket on Tritton Road on December 15 and outside Tesco (Wragby Road) on December 16.

Photo: Louis Esner