Foodbanks around Birmingham are preparing themselves for difficult months as donations start to dwindle after the Christmas period.
Foodbanks across the region have seen a “massive influx” of people needing help in recent weeks in the form of Struggling with rising energy bills, fuel poverty and cutting benefits,
Earlier this week, Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, said Rising energy prices could last up to two years, threatening the livelihood of thousands of families in the area.
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David Wiseman, Manager of sparkhill FoodBank said stock levels had fallen since the Christmas period as FoodBank prepared to help thousands of people in need.
“We find some points in the year where people are more generous than others,” he said.
“February and March are really tough months for us in terms of stocks.
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“We see an enormous amount of generosity in preparation for Christmas – and we appreciate it widely.
“But when Christmas ends, the foodbank isn’t always at the fore of people’s minds.
“It’s understandable, but it doesn’t deny the fact that people still need help and their situation hasn’t changed.”
Rosemary Cripps, a coordinator Aston and Naturals FoodBank agreed that donations are “abandoned” in January which makes the first few months of the year “very difficult”.
“There’s been a big increase in donations for Christmas,” she said.
“People are usually more proactive with their donations, we don’t have to ask as much.
“But when we really, really need help from February, because after Christmas donations drop considerably.
“February, March and April are tough times.”
Sparkhill Foodbank backed 1623 people in December 2021 – a 36% increase from a year ago – and manager David Wiseman is expecting another busy year in 2022.
“In anticipation of the next few weeks and months, we are really concerned rising fuel costs And it will have an impact on the people we are serving,” he said.
“We are forcing ourselves into a similar body-shock we felt when universal debt was cut.”
“Things are not going to be easy – sadly they are inevitably going to get worse.
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“Issues like food poverty tend to go away from the glare of public attention at different times of the year, but we need your continued support.
“Please keep us in mind when you are shopping in the supermarket as we see new people coming to us every day in dire need.”
“Yesterday alone we served food to 98 people – this amount would be needed by more than 25,000 people in a year’s time.”
Read more: ‘Choice of heating or eating’ – Foodbank helping more families as gas crisis escalates
Energy bill expected to rise this year as govt’s price ceiling is revised in February Experts estimate that this could increase the average annual energy bill by around £2000,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he was Meeting with Chancellor Rishi Sunki To solve what has been labeled as a “cost of living crisis”.
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