Food banks across the region are seeing a huge increase in demand due to job losses and delays in benefit or grant payments.
The Trussell Trust reported that, in the last two weeks of March, their food banks saw a 81% increase in the need for emergency food parcels compared to the previous year. And sadly there has been a 122% increase in the need for food parcels for children.
A group of self-employed people from the north-east have voluntarily set up a fundraising appeal in response to these tragic statistics, with the goal of raising at least £5,000 in the coming month to be shared equally across food banks in the region.
They have been supported by Dave Johns from ‘I, Daniel Blake’ who agreed to be featured in the appeal campaign film, which was made by Newbiggin by the Sea filmmaker Jason Thompson.
Kelly Railton, from Gosforth, one of the volunteers from the campaign said:
“Last year more than 100,000 food parcels were given out in the North East and these latest figures from the Trussell Trust show that with the coronavirus pandemic even more people are finding it a struggle to feed themselves and their families. And the strain is starting to show in food banks with some stocks in short supply and volunteers working so hard to get the food to people who need it.
“We know people in the region want to support food banks and many do through much-needed donations of food, hygiene and sanitary items. That is great and shows the kindness of the North East public.
“But we have also heard from a number of North East food banks that they desperately need funds to pay their bills and to buy items that are in low supply. This is why we voluntarily launched this campaign raise funds directly for food banks across the region, so that they can continue to support those who so desperately need them in these times. Any support people can give will make a huge difference to a person or a family in need.”