The team behind Coventry Foodbank have issued a fresh appeal for support ahead of a predicted spike in demand over the school holidays next week (w/c July 24th).
The city’s 14 food banks are bracing themselves for increased demand at the same time as a forecast 25% drop in donations as the summer break leaves more parents than ever struggling to put food on their table.
Since being established in 2011, Coventry foodbank has supported families and individuals across the city to access emergency food parcels, giving out over 100,000 three-day emergency food parcels to over 250,000 people.
The impending summer struggle comes in the wake of concerning findings by the Trussell Trust, ‘The State of Hunger report’ *– the largest ever study into hunger and foodbank use in the UK – which suggest that one in five people in the country has gone without food over the past year on a regular basis.
The report also states that food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network distributed 61,000 emergency food parcels in 2010/11, rising to 2.5 million in 2020/21 and that, compared to this time five years ago, the need for food banks has increased by 128%.
Gavin Kibble, Founder of Coventry Foodbank said: “This year we have seen donations plummet, yet demand for our service has risen exponentially. Put quite simply, people are no longer in a position to support us in the way they did due to the current cost of living crisis.
“This is a very worrying time for everyone, demand this year has outstripped supply so that on an average week we were giving out a ton of food more than was coming in. Since the start of the year we have used our cash reserves to purchase over 20 tons of food to supplement our food offer.
He added: “Through 2023 we have continued to experience unprecedented demand for Foodbank support, significantly outstripping donations of food. Many parents will turn to Foodbank during July and August faced with the cost of providing additional food to their families.
“If we could all buy one extra item when we do a supermarket shop and just drop it in the Foodbank supermarket collection box, we could easily support the needs of many families living in crisis at this time.”
A foodbank user from Coventry said: “I am really concerned about the impact of the summer holidays. As a family we rely on free school meals during term times, with that gone, I worry about having enough food for them.”
To find further information about how to help through food and financial donations or volunteering, visit here