Former servicemen and single mums are most at need as Food Bank handouts treble

Manager Linda Hurr and volunteer Ian Hooper

Manager Linda Hurr and volunteer Ian Hooper

First published in News

COLCHESTER’S Food Bank has seen a drastic rise in the number of people needing help.

The charity, based on Moorside Business Park, hands out food packages to people who cannot afford to eat.

Linda Hurr, manager, said the number of people being referred to the charity has more than tripled since June last year.

She said: “Things are not getting any better by the looks of it.

It is terrible. It’s really hard for people.

“We are still seeing the effects of the changes to the benefit system.

“It is a difficult time and the cost of living has gone up.”

She said the number of people coming to her for help peaked towards the end of the year.

She said: “It was really busy over Christmas and last week as well.

“This time of year affects people more.

“I don’t think it is necessarily Christmas, although that does have an effect, it is the winter period in general.

“It is when things go wrong and there is the increased cost of heating.”

Last May, the charity received 1,733kg of food donations, allowing volunteers to give out 133 parcels.

In November and December, people donated 13,321kg of food.

Due to the high volume, organisers were able to increase the size of the parcels handed out. In December alone 335 boxes were given out.

Any extra donations will be given out over the next couple of months.

However, despite an increase in demand, the number of food donations has also increased.

This has meant the food bank has been able to help everybody during the winter months.

Linda said: “People have been fantastic.

“No matter how much we give out we’ve always got donations coming in. That is one of the things that always amazes me.

We are blessed with people’s generosity.

“Without that we wouldn’t be able to operate at all.”

People are referred to the food bank by one of 90 professional organisations, including schools, GPs and social services.

Linda said a large proportion of the people who come to her for help are single mothers and exservicemen.

She said: “We help a wide variety of people.

“The vast majority are genuinly really struggling to make ends meet.

“We’ve had some mothers coming in who have gone without food so they can buy their children school shoes and uniforms.

“It is awful to see, although we would all do the same.”

  •  From pasta to puddings, Colchester Food Bank accepts any indate non-perishable food.

Download its shopping list at colchester.foodbank.org.uk Donations can be delivered to the warehouse at Unit 33, Mooreside Industrial Park, Colchester, on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays from 10am to noon.

Call Linda on 07957 809041 or e-mail colchfbank@gmail.com You can also donate food at Co-op branches around Colchester.

Comments (4)

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2:52pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Jack222 says...

And we are meant to be in one of the rich countries....

Remind me again of how much money we wasted in the illegal and pointless Iraq and Afghanistan wars.... And we cant feed our own people...
And we are meant to be in one of the rich countries.... Remind me again of how much money we wasted in the illegal and pointless Iraq and Afghanistan wars.... And we cant feed our own people... Jack222
  • Score: 10

10:19am Sat 11 Jan 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

The last count on the war in GHAN was around£20 Billion. I personally feel it could be double that. This did not include the other campaign in IRAQ:
The question to ask and one I posed many a time, is would not the money have been better spent in protecting us here?
Platoons of Troops posted at Seaports and The military assisting with stop and search street patrols at nights in city target areas would have done a better job.
Trying to placate the americans by chumming up to them as their younger sibling in a fisticuffs with the Taleban, was playing at the worlds Police Force.
Now we have people on our own streets hungry and starving, in a dog eat dog survival of the fittest style mode, due to massive benefit cuts, due to this war and the market collapse of 2008:
The major problem here is Dust Bin Laden was not that much of a fool, he predicted and machinated the war in Ghan and the terror attacks in the USA.
He also had a part to play in the world finance markets collapse and so did all his far east chums.
If you read the novel The Tiptoe Boys By James Follett. The book went on to be the Lewis Collins, Film Who Dares Wins. The last scene & chapter in the book, was that the monied nations would control the world markets in other ways without terrorism.
The money markets stuffed everyone yet again the other week with the Royal Mail flotation:
Money could have been made there to fund a lot of these food banks in handy donations by the masses. Instead the white socks brigade pocketed at least £50,000 each and gave the poor the usual two fingered Winston Churchill's, to the likes of all the minnows of the masses in our society.

I for one will be dipping in my pocket and giving to the food bank this year at Oyster Park and via my church in priory street.

Who would have thought it though The Hunger Games have arrived in Colchester in 2014?
The last count on the war in GHAN was around£20 Billion. I personally feel it could be double that. This did not include the other campaign in IRAQ: The question to ask and one I posed many a time, is would not the money have been better spent in protecting us here? Platoons of Troops posted at Seaports and The military assisting with stop and search street patrols at nights in city target areas would have done a better job. Trying to placate the americans by chumming up to them as their younger sibling in a fisticuffs with the Taleban, was playing at the worlds Police Force. Now we have people on our own streets hungry and starving, in a dog eat dog survival of the fittest style mode, due to massive benefit cuts, due to this war and the market collapse of 2008: The major problem here is Dust Bin Laden was not that much of a fool, he predicted and machinated the war in Ghan and the terror attacks in the USA. He also had a part to play in the world finance markets collapse and so did all his far east chums. If you read the novel The Tiptoe Boys By James Follett. The book went on to be the Lewis Collins, Film Who Dares Wins. The last scene & chapter in the book, was that the monied nations would control the world markets in other ways without terrorism. The money markets stuffed everyone yet again the other week with the Royal Mail flotation: Money could have been made there to fund a lot of these food banks in handy donations by the masses. Instead the white socks brigade pocketed at least £50,000 each and gave the poor the usual two fingered Winston Churchill's, to the likes of all the minnows of the masses in our society. I for one will be dipping in my pocket and giving to the food bank this year at Oyster Park and via my church in priory street. Who would have thought it though The Hunger Games have arrived in Colchester in 2014? A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 4

12:23pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Checkout says...

There is no glory in war, any war. There is rarely a scrap of justification in any armed conflict. Politicians who suggest armed intervention should have warmonger tattooed on their foreheads and be placed in the vanguard of any attack.
Just for the record, I'm not a pacifist and I believe that it is a governments first responsibility and duty to defend this country. Foreign adventures such as those recently suggested by politicians such as the current foreign secretary are criminal on a number of levels. Invasions are as likely to be as effective as chickens teeth in the longer term so why become involved in matters that do not concern us.
The last people to show an ounce of compassion to those they have treated as cannon fodder are those self same duplicitous politicians.
There is no glory in war, any war. There is rarely a scrap of justification in any armed conflict. Politicians who suggest armed intervention should have warmonger tattooed on their foreheads and be placed in the vanguard of any attack. Just for the record, I'm not a pacifist and I believe that it is a governments first responsibility and duty to defend this country. Foreign adventures such as those recently suggested by politicians such as the current foreign secretary are criminal on a number of levels. Invasions are as likely to be as effective as chickens teeth in the longer term so why become involved in matters that do not concern us. The last people to show an ounce of compassion to those they have treated as cannon fodder are those self same duplicitous politicians. Checkout
  • Score: 6

8:51pm Sat 11 Jan 14

The Silver Surfer says...

Two sensible posts above not much more than I can add to that but here here!
Two sensible posts above not much more than I can add to that but here here! The Silver Surfer
  • Score: 3

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