Lewisham food bank calls for help as holidays drive up demand


A food bank is calling for help as the school holidays drive a spike in demand.

The Lewisham food bank is making a plea for donations as more vulnerable children are seeking help during the school holidays when they do not receive free school meals.

Figures from the food bank, which has outlets in Lewisham, Catford, Forest Hill and New Cross, show that there was a 39 per cent increase in the number of children seeking help from June to July last year. They believe they could see a similar rise this year.

Reverend Carol Bostridge, Lewisham food chief operating officer, said: “We struggle with extra people coming in for help during the school holidays.

“It’s heartbreaking to think that these children could go without food. We need the people of Lewisham to dig deep.”

The rise in demand during the summer happens at the same time as there is a fall in donations, as donors go on holiday.

There was roughly 5,200kg of food donated in October last year, compared with 4,000kg in August and 3,400kg in July. Rev Bostridge, 61, said: “There are a lot of people who don’t see the summer as a time of sunny fun, they dread not being able to feed their children.

Holiday hunger can be devastating.  “Any help we can receive is appreciated.”

Food banks work through donations made at schools, churches and business, as well as supermarket collection points.

Care professionals such as health visitors, schools and social workers identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher.

This entitles them to receive a parcel of three days’ worth of food.

To make a donation or find out more about the Lewisham Foodbank go to https://lewisham.foodbank.org.uk/

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