Foodbank providers fear a near-perfect storm of events will lead to a massive increase in demand for their services.
The Torbay Food Alliance, which was set up during the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, has provided more than 570,000 meals that is around 7000 a week at an average cost of 83p each.
However, a combination of the end of furlough, which is expected to bring redundancies, a cut in the Universal Credit top-up payments of £20 per week, and soaring heating costs will, organisers fear, lead to a rush of new clients.
An urgent public appeal for help for donations of both money and food has been made in a bid to prepare for the predicted crisis with food collection points set up across the Bay.
A spokesperson for the Alliance said, “Unfortunately, we are preparing for the worst; the combination of factors will hit the poorest hardest.
“People were already struggling before this because it is cheaper to live indoors in Summer than it is when children go back to school and the heating goes on in Autumn.
“No-one puts themselves in this position on purpose and a lot of people are finding themselves unable to put food on the family table for the first time in their lives. These are exceptional times.
“As a result, we urgently need communities to step up to help their own, whether that be through donations on our Crowdfunder page or by putting food into collection bins whilst doing their weekly supermarket shop.”
To make a donation to the Torbay Food Alliance go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/torbay-food-alliance or next time you are out shopping, look out for the donation points – tinned food, in particular, is always appreciated.
If you need help with financial problems or need to be referred to the food banks, please contact the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022.
You can join us on our social media pages, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and keep up to date with whats going on in South Devon.
Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us