Darlington community workers are urging people to increase food bank donations, as the summer holiday sparks a surge in demand.
The Salvation Army provides free food parcels every Friday evening and the King’s Church has operated the Food Store and three other distribution centres in the town since February 2012.
Both look to provide emergency food resources for those unable to feed themselves or their families with all work carried out by hard working volunteers.
> Hope they are all volunteers – Salvation Army has a poor record regarding Workfare.
Summer is a crucial time for the projects, as the beginning of six weeks of school holidays leaves many families unable to cope.
King’s Church network manager Lisa Marsh said: “It is important that people can put food on the table.
“The last two summers has seen an increase in the demand for more food donations, often from families and single parents.
“The lack of access to free school meals and added pressure of buying school uniforms is very important.”
Parents often cut down their own food intake in order to feed their children.
Colin Bradshaw, of Darlington Salvation Army, which also runs a food bank, said: “Dozens of people attend every Friday evening.
“The start of the summer holidays will see an increase in numbers as many people who wouldn’t normally attend need the support of food banks as the main meal of the day is not provided by schools for children”.
Items such as tinned meats, pasta, long life milk and cereal are the major priorities for donations.
Mr Bradshaw praised the generosity of those who provide food donations.
He said: “Thanks to everyone who supports our food bank, such support makes a huge difference in the community.”
Donations can be made at The Salvation Army, Darlington Citadel and the King’s Church, Darlington.
For more information, visit darlingtonsalvationarmy.org.uk or kingschurchdarlington.org/foodstore
Source – Northern Echo, 23 July 2014