Lincoln food bank use rocketed in the last year

One of Lincoln’s food banks has seen a 43% rise in users in the last 12 months, leaving volunteers thankful for a harvest festival collections boost in the city.

Lincoln Community Larder was the first food bank in the city when it started in 1989 and is current averaging over 60 users a week at its base on Rosemary Lane off Monks Road.

In September 2016, the food bank had 187 users, however September this year saw 268 people use the food bank, posting a 43.3% increase.

Furthermore, between January to September 2016 and January to September 2017, the food bank has seen a 26% rise in usage.

As the food bank deals with this recent growth in users, coordinator Tina James believes this is only about to increase due to current universal credit issues.

Lincoln Community Larder’s Tina James Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“People are having to wait weeks to get their first payment of universal credit, and once they get the money it’s paid monthly so people who have no experience of managing on a monthly budget could well find themselves running out of money halfway through and need to use the larder.

“It’s mainly unemployed people who use the food banks, we get a couple of employed people and we get a lot of homeless, either street homeless, or sofa surfing users.

“We get people from women fleeing domestic violence or those unwell who can’t work from either short or long term sickness.”

Along with eight other volunteers, the larder delivered 23 harvest festival assemblies at schools across the county.

Tina told The Lincolnite that they are rarely low on stock and currently have their warehouse full of food from the donations of people from across the county, but there are certain foods that the larder are encouraging people to donate.

However, one of this year’s donations was found to be 17 years out of date — a tin of apricot halves.

One item the food bank received this harvest was 17 years out of date. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

“I would love people to donate tinned fruit, hot dogs, UHT milk, small packets of sugar and pasta sauces. This is what we’ll be buying those within three weeks when we run out.

“We do get too much soup, pasta and baked beans but fruit and hot dogs are always welcome.”

A list of food what users at the bank are entitled to Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

People can donate to the larder on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1pm to 3pm or visit their two outreaches:

  • St Giles Methodist Church on Addison Drive, Wednesdays 11am-12pm and Fridays 9:30am-10:30am.
  • St John the Baptist Church, Ermine Wednesdays 9:30am-10:30am.
  • Alternatively you can contact the larder for more information.