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Christmas creates added need for Norfolk’s foodbanks 
 

Foodbanks across Norfolk experience a seasonal spike in December with Christmas bringing additional economic pressure on families, who are often in extreme distress by the time they ask for an emergency food package.

With foodbanks around Norfolk already facing increased demand on last year, the Christmas period is creating even more need, with December expected to be the busiest month of the year.

Hannah Worsley, Project Manager for the Norwich Foodbank, said the charity expected to give out more than 1,000 parcels this December. 

She said: “We see more families in the run up to Christmas. There is more pressure for heating bills and food can get squeezed out.”

“There is a genuine extra need for foodbanks. It is incredibly important we are here. People phone the service in tears”.

Analysis of Trussell Trust's foodbank statistics show that nationally there was a 45% increase in the number of three day emergency food supplies provided by foodbanks last December compared to the monthly average for the 2015/16 financial year.

Many of the foodbanks across Norfolk are already experiencing an increase in demand compared to the same time in 2015 with figures between April 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016 showing that the Cromer and District Foodbank experienced a 31.74% increase, Mid Norfolk Foodbank (based in Dereham) saw a 18.37% increase and King’s Lynn Foodbank experienced a 14.65% increase in demand.

Jo Stevenson, East of England Regional Development Officer for the Trussell Trust, which supports nine foodbanks in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “At Christmas, you want festive food and to provide for children and it is very difficult for some to do that.

“There is a lot of pressure in the lead up to Christmas and we always see a spike in numbers.”

Ella King, Project Manager for Cromer and District Foodbank, said it was “shameful” foodbanks existed.  She said: “We are expecting it to be our busiest Christmas this year.

“We have seen some families who are cancelling Christmas this year because they cannot afford it.

“People are normally very upset and embarrassed by the time they have to come to a foodbank at Christmas.”

To find out how to help your local foodbank meet the added demand or if you require an emergency food package, please visit
 
Cromer and District Foodbank 
Great Yarmouth Foodbank 
Hunstanton District Foodbank
King's Lynn Foodbank
Mid Norfolk Foodbank (based in Dereham)
Norwich Foodbank 
Thetford Foodbank 

Extracts of this article have been taken from EDP24.  

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