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Hull Foodbank strives to ensure that nobody goes hungry

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This local charity aims to help people in crisis through a vision to end hunger and poverty in the city.

One of 428 Trussell Trust foodbanks across the country, Hull Foodbank provides poverty-stricken families and individuals when they’re in crisis by providing three days of nutritionally-balanced emergency food and support.

“The three days’ worth of food tides families and individuals over if they hit crisis point,” says Russ Barlow, Manager at Hull Foodbank. “People are usually referred to us through another agency or charity - they could be struggling to pay for bills and food due to low income or if they are facing debt.”

In 2016/2017, the local foodbank gave out 5,592 of these emergency parcels.

“Our figures for this financial year will be officially released next month. But I can guess that numbers were just as high if not higher than last year. Every month from April 2017, we saw more and more people using Hull Foodbank. The first three weeks of December were particularly busy - we helped 485 people.”

On top of this, the charity signposts users to other organisations in order to get to the bottom of their difficulties.

“It works via a voucher system. We give out food packages, as this is just one less thing to worry about when you’re in a vulnerable situation.”

Russ explains that the key problems seem to be due to continued issues with benefit payments and the Universal Credit rollout in the area. Coupled with low wages and insecure work, a lot of people are facing hardship.

“Foodbanks are a small and immediate way of assisting people, but there are still many going hungry. We strive to provide much-needed food to families whilst also working to get them out of their situation,” he tells us. “We believe that no one in our community should face going hungry.”

The Trussell Trust works year-round to combat poverty and hunger across the UK with different organisations and the government. The wide network frequently liaises with local authorities, often campaigning for change and carrying out research to tackle the issue of poverty head-on.

“There are a number of ways in which you can help Hull Foodbank. We are continuously looking for volunteers to help us properly distribute food to individuals,” Russell points out. “We also accept monetary donations to help fund the bank, and quality non-perishable foods are very welcome. There’s always a dip in donations in the early part of the year leading up to the summer period, so we welcome any contributions at any time.”

Last year, KCOM donated 170kg of food to Hull Foodbank.

“We are extremely grateful for all of these donations. Over the last year, local schools, businesses and faith groups have provided vital support and enabled us to continue giving three days of food and support to people in crisis.”

If you would like to find out more, please visit the Hull Foodbank website.

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