Our foodbank serving East Grinstead and surrounding villages continues to get busier, especially families with young children, seeking emergency help.
Debt, low income and benefit delays remain - unsurprisingly - the three main reasons why - at both a local and national level - people are referred to foodbanks.
Press comments earlier this autumn pointed to continuing problems with the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) with many claimants only receiving their first payments after six weeks and Citizens Advice identified that many on UC are receiving less - often £12 per month - that they did under the old system.
Coupled with rates of inflation higher that any growth in real wages, for those in work, many are continuing to struggle to make ends meet.
How can you help? Particularly at Christmas time - these problems are often exacerbated especially for those families with children who cannot afford some ‘treats’ at Christmas that many of us take for granted.
So this foodbank - like a number of others - collects Christmas items from donations - such as tinned ham, christmas pudding, chocolates, mince pies, etc sorts, packs and distributes them by mid December to local referral agencies such as schools, to distribute discretely to clients who they have earlier nominated.
Christmas donations that we are seeking are displayed on our website and at posters at supermarket donation points.
Thank you to all who can help us with donations and to our volunteers. Do get involved with this Christmas appeal if you can. If you would like to know more about what we do, please get in touch. Contact details, location, opening times and news can all be found via our website at https://eastgrinstead.foodbank.org.uk/
Contributed by: Tony Cox, East Grinstead Foodbank Manager
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