Feeling the pinch


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As the public begins to feel the pinch from the festive period, a Bradford foodbank is appealing for more donations to help feed the city’s most deprived.

In 2004, local resident Lashman Singh set up the Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank and in less than a decade, the charity has already helped feed tens of thousands of households across the city.

Relying only on donations, and stock bought by the charity, the group has seen the number of food parcels double year-on-year since 2011, with 2014 predicted to be the biggest drive to date.

GIVING: Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank founder, Lashman Singh, saw more than  £100,000 worth of food donated to the cause last year but warns that 2014 may need even more

GIVING: Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank founder, Lashman Singh, saw more than
£100,000 worth of food donated to the cause last year but warns that 2014 may need even more

After initially launching the Curry Project in Bradford in 1991, which fed people at set locations on a weekly basis, Mr Singh realised that there was still a great number of people suffering because they could not travel to the site.

This led to the launch of the Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank which has since acted as a hub, in Barkerend’s St Mary’s Church, for food parcel preparation.

Mr Singh set up the charity to ensure everybody has access to food and drink, regardless of their situation, and wanted to thank the public for their support and urged people to continue giving whatever they can.

“First and foremost I would like to thank everybody for all the support they have given us over the years because if it wasn’t for the generosity of the public we wouldn’t be able to carry out our task,” he said.

“With the economy as it is, it looks like things will only get worse out there, especially with changes to the benefits system, so donations are needed more now than ever.

“January and February are always the hardest months for people as well. Coming out of the holiday period and not only facing the reality that utility bills are due but also in many cases overspending in the past couple of months, many of us face a hard time.

“I appeal to all people to come forward, regardless of faith or belief, as it is your contributions which help make us successful.
“If there is anybody out there who cares to help us we would be very grateful, from the donor to the recipient, because all of us are just cogs in a wheel.”

VOLUNTEERS: Tens of people help out at St Mary’s Church, on Barkerend Road, organising food parcels which are then distributed by Independent organisations

VOLUNTEERS: Tens of people help out at St Mary’s Church, on Barkerend Road, organising food parcels which are then distributed by Independent organisations

Across the UK, more than 100,000 people rely on foodbanks to survive with the number rising very year.

2,000 food parcels, averaging between £12 and £15 worth of goods, were distributed throughout Bradford by the charity in 2011, with necessities such as milk, cereal, and tinned goods all included. That number doubled the next year as 4,000 packages were handed out and in 2013 a record 8,000 bags were given away.

More than £120,000 worth of goods were distributed by the Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank in the last 12 months and 2014 is likely to need even more donations as food poverty levels in the city rise.

Anyone who would like to help the charity, or would like to make a donation to the foodbank, should visit www.bradfordfoodbank.com.

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