Bradford food bank makes urgent ‘help’ plea

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lashman Singh Lashman Singh

A Bradford food bank has issued an urgent appeal for donations and cash, as it revealed it gave out a record 820 food parcels to desperate families across the district in a month.

Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank is distributing seven times more food parcels a month than it was two years ago, and organisers predict the situation will get worse.

Stark figures show that last year monthly food parcels rose from 141 in January to 457 in December, and this year the numbers have risen sharply from 462 at the start of the year to 820 in October.

Lashman Singh, who founded the charity nine years ago, said it was struggling to meet demand and needed donations of food and money to make sure families don’t go hungry.

“It’s frightening to think how we’re going to cope. Two years ago we were giving out 150 food parcels, but we are seeing more and more families that need help and in October gave out 820 parcels.

“We are going to be inundated and we are already struggling. It’s only going to get worse over Christmas, when people get utility bills all at once and they are paying for things like heating.

“It’s a desperate situation and I think we are going to be averaging over 800 parcels a month. It is reaching a crisis point.”

The charity is asking for donations of non-perishable items, including tins of meat, fish, soup, spaghetti, beans, vegetables, fruit, rice pudding and custard. It also needs jars of coffee, sauce, jams, preserves and pickles as well as packets of sugar, tea, cereal, rice, pasta, cous cous, cereal and snack bars.

Mr Singh said: “We also need donations of cash. We are buying things like cereals by the pallet load. We have essential items that we put in our food parcels. We have got plenty of volunteers who work tirelessly to put the food parcels together every Wednesday and Thursday evening and we can collect any donations anyone would like to make. If anyone can help we would be extremely grateful.”

To find out more about making donations to Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank, visit bradfordfoodbank.com.

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