Rotherham food bank appeal as numbers double

Published Wednesday, 27th March 2019
Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read with volunteers of The Hub food bank
Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read with volunteers of The Hub food bank

Council Leader Cllr Chris Read dropped into the foodbank at the Hub Church in Canklow last week to see the impact of the Council’s funding.

Use of foodbanks across the borough doubled last year, with more than three and a half thousand food parcels being distributed in the borough during the ten months to January this year.

Cllr Read said: “The work that volunteers like Mick and the team at The Hub do makes an incredible difference in people’s lives. They tell me that more and more people are seeking their support, especially as the impact of changes to benefits is increasingly felt in the borough. Delays and sanctions linked to Universal Credit are leaving residents struggling even for the essentials.

“That’s why the support that the Council gives to provide food to The Hub and other projects across Rotherham is so important, but it’s a reminder to all of us who are able to make a contribution that the volunteers need our help too.”

The Community Food partnership, which is part-funded by the Council, has distributed nearly 38 tonnes of food to people in need since May 2018. The Hub alone has distributed nearly four tonnes.

However, despite this there is still a need for more donations, and some specific items would be welcomed. In particular the Hub is asking people to donate tinned meat, as currently they have many tins of vegetables but no meat to help make up meals. They are also asking for reusable bags for people to be able to take their food home.  

Facilities' Co-ordinator Catherine Moore added: "Our volunteers are vital to the service we provide to people and I would like to thank them for their commitment. We are seeing more people visiting our foodbank and so any donations people can give us are gratefully received.”

The current Food in Crisis support was started by the Council as part of Local Welfare Provision in 2013. The Council contracted with FareShare Yorkshire for the provision of food to local organisations that signed up to be “Community Food Members”.

The food bank support that the Hub receives from FareShare is supplemented by donations from the congregation which help to buy additional food.  Volunteers also collect food which is almost out of date from Tesco to supplement the available food for clients.

Donations can be taken to The Hub church at 103 Canklow Road during opening hours on Wednesdays and Fridays, 11.30 am until 1.30 pm, or during the informal and lively church service on Sundays at 11 am. The Hub also offers a free debt advice service in association with Christians Against Poverty. Drop in during opening hours for more information.