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Local charity on track to deliver 10,000 food hampers this winter.

To support local people this winter, please consider a donation to the Poverty Hurts Appeal, with County Durham Community Foundation.

North-East charity, Feeding Families, is expecting huge demand for food hampers this Christmas.

A grant of £2,500 was awarded from the County Durham Community Foundation Covid-19 Fund to help with the cost of food and transport.

Founded four years ago to provide emergency food hampers, the charity has gone from delivering 717 to 8,014 last year. That number is now set to rise to 10,000 this year.

Poverty Hurts

Juliet Sanders, CEO of Feeding Families, said “We don’t think anyone should go hungry. We believe everyone has the right to be able to feed themselves and their children. Feeding Families offers more than just food, it shows compassion to those in crisis.

“The funding we received enabled us to support our base in County Durham, which has supplied food throughout 2021 and will continue to do so in the future.”

At first the project helped people at Christmas, but through the pandemic it has grown to offer year-round support.

Through three lockdowns, the team delivered a staggering 70,000 meals to more than 5,300 people over a period of eight months.

Money tight for families

One parent supported by the charity said “Having been furloughed, then losing my job due to my ill health, as well as being a lone parent and carer to my disabled adult daughter, money has been incredibly tight.

“I genuinely didn’t know how to make Christmas special this year. I had enough for a small Christmas lunch for my daughters and a sandwich for me, but now we have a complete dinner, and so much more.

“Even getting sprouts (only my youngest likes sprouts and normally I can’t afford to buy things that only one person will eat) was exciting for my daughter!”

The increase in demand is thought to come from the financial impact of Covid-19, the end of the furlough scheme and the end of the £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit. One family helped by the charity had not eaten for three days, as they did not want to ask for help.

Julie added: “2020-21 was our biggest year yet. We keep thinking we may have reached our capacity and then we find we have doubled again. The need for the help we give continues to rise, but we continue to fill the gaps in other provision, reaching those who can’t access food banks or just fall through the cracks of society.”



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