Newcastle food bank boss says families have been pushed into poverty by the pandemic

Newcastle West End Foodbank is asking for toiletry donations alongside food as the effects of the pandemic continue in the city.

Throughout the pandemic, local heroes have worked tirelessly to keep our communities operating in a safe way. The volunteers at Newcastle West End Foodbank are no exception and have worked throughout the Covid-19 crisis to ensure those in need don’t go without.

Despite always being in need of more food donations, Newcastle food Bank Chief Executive John McCorry has urged people to think beyond food. “It’s not just food, we need toiletries too, people need to brush their teeth, have showergel, handwash, deodorant - people still have their dignity and want to ensure that doesn’t slip”.

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He added: “Families that were on the margins anyway have found themselves pushed further into financial hardship by covid.”

One volunteer, Christine Wood, has contributed her time to the foodbank for over seven years, and says that the foodbank gives her something to focus on. “It’s benefited me, it’s benefited the clients and the people that have volunteered - it’s always good to have a bit crack!”

The foodbank gave out over 26,000 emergency supplies to people in crisis in the first six months of 2020, and don’t plan on stopping going above and beyond in their effort to help people no longer need to rely on them.

In the majority of cases, the team support people in overcoming their food crisis after three visits. For those in need of further support, and recognising the unsustainability of handing out food parcels on a regular basis, offer additional support and guidance.

To do this, the team works in partnership with specialist agencies to help people overcome the often complex underlying problems that have led to them needing the foodbank, such as: household debt, worklessness, risk of homelessness, addiction and not claiming full benefit entitlements.

You can visit or donate to your nearest foodbank in the following locations:

  • Church of the Venerable Bede, NE4 8AQ,  on Mondays and Thursdays
  • The Foodbank Centre, NE15 6NG, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Lemington Methodist Church, NE15 8EA, on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Heaton Baptist Church, NE6 5HN, on Wednesdays
  • Galafield Centre, NE5 1LZ, on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • St Silas’ C of E Church, NE6 1PG, on Thursdays.