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LISTEN: 500+ to visit food bank this Christmas

LISTEN: 500+ to visit food bank this Christmas

Friday 01 December 2023

LISTEN: 500+ to visit food bank this Christmas

Friday 01 December 2023


Hundreds more families are expected to be reliant on Guernsey Welfare's food bank this Christmas compared to previous years, as the cost of living continues to bite hard on low earners.

The charitable service based in Trinity Square has recently seen its record broken for its busiest month while its Christmas service - which runs for three weeks - is only starting today.

Sue Le Friec said the number of people using the food bank service has increased since the pandemic with job losses causing food insecurity at the time, followed by the big increases in food prices and the wider cost of living seen more recently.

"We see an increased demand on our service," she said.

"This year we have probably seen an average of around 60 people a week, last year it was an average of around 40 people a week."

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Mrs Le Friec said from today until 22 December, the food bank will be distributing both festive items and regular food stuffs for school lunches and family meals - but she's expecting to see triple the number of people during each of those weeks compared to a 'normal' week.

"...because we're only really open for three weeks in December we would expect to triple those numbers. Last year we saw around 500 people in December and this year we expect it to be higher," she said.

Speaking to Express on the final day of November she said the month had been its busiest ever which also suggests December will break records.

"...at the moment we look quite well stocked, but in actual fact we had our busiest November ever so some of our groceries aren't as well stocked as they normally would be at this point. So we would still value donations."

Mrs Le Friec said shoppers can donate via the collection bins at the Co-op Grande Marches, Waitrose and Alliance. 

Online shoppers can also donate via Amazon where the charity has a 'wish list' which includes things like tins of soup, ravioli, beans and more.

"We would love to have tomato ketchup, and sugar - believe it or not it just goes off the shelves as fast as it comes in. Mayonnaise, coffee, any tinned meat, tinned veg..." she listed.

"People obviously want to support shopping locally and that is at the heart of what we would want, but we have to recognise that nowadays people shop in a variety of ways and we have to, if we want the support, we have to move with the times and we know that a lot of people do their shopping online and particularly with Amazon.

"So at the beginning of the year we created an Amazon wish list and it's been very fruitful for us.

"We have some lovely donations and we're very grateful to everyone who donates in whatever way."

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Mrs Le Friec said too many businesses to name individually have also been very generous throughout this year with donations of gifts for men, and advent calendars being two notable festive additions to their offerings this year.

For anyone who is struggling and thinks they may need to use the food bank for the first time this month, Mrs Le Friec said the sooner the better.

"If you're a family or a parent, you want your children to have nice things and you want your children to be the same as every other child, and there's that thought actually that everybody has so much and you want your child to have the same. The reality might not be that everyone's got so much.

"We also try to promote that actually spending quality time with your children and having the children in a safe space, having a fun time with their family is as important as the gifts that they open."

Apply to the food bank

Anyone wishing to contact the food bank can do so by calling 724300 or emailing info@welfare.gg

You'll be invited in for a chat where you will need to disclose some personal details like how many adults and children are in your household.

Then you'll be taken through the process for the food bank itself.

Donate to the food bank

Buy additional store cupboard items - tinned goods, packets, pasta, rice etc - and donate them at the Co op Grande Marche, Waitrose or Alliance.

Deliver donations to the food bank itself at Upper Mansell Street.

Buy via Amazon and donate to the food bank wish list.

LISTEN:

READ MORE...

Food bank gets busier every year

Food bank benefits from KPMG donation 

HSBC supports foodbank 

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