Spalding Guardian needs your help as its annual Christmas Foodbank Appeal is launched
The Spalding Guardian launches its ninth Christmas Foodbank Appeal at a time of unprecedented demand from people and families struggling to make ends meet.
More three-day emergency food parcels have been given out by volunteers at foodbank centres in Spalding, Long Sutton, Holbeach, Crowland, Sutton Bridge and Sutterton than ever before.
At Agapecare Foodbank Spalding, based at The Lighthouse Church, Haverfield Road, about 730 food parcels have been given out so far this year, compared to nearly 560 in 2018.
Foodbank coordinator Irene Davies said: "This year has been incredibly difficult and we're struggling to keep up, with over 700 food parcels given out so far already.
"November and December are still ahead so we'll top the 800-mark by the end of the year and that's without counting the one-off or extra items we give out to people who have reached their limit for the year.
"People are coming to us and saying: 'We can't manage' and there are many cases of those who need long-term, ongoing support with resources we're not always able to offer."
At the same time as demand has reached a new high, foodbanks themselves have faced a rapidly shortening supply of items to give their clients.
Thankfully, donations from harvest festivals held by schools and churches across South Holland and, in the case of Sutterton Foodbank, Boston borough has meant that foodbanks have received extra supplies with which to meet demand.
Irene said: "The support from harvest festivals in the area has been very good and without those contributions at this time of the year, our shelves would be practically empty.
"We're so grateful for the continued support of churches, schools and individuals who come to us year on year."
In support of this year's appeal, students, staff, parents and governors at Spalding High School will once again hold its Bring a Tin day.
Since it started in 2014, the school has donated more than 6.600 items of tinned, dried and non-perishable food to help people in need.
Headmistress Michele Anderson said: "It's really impressive and humbling for us that the school has taken the appeal to heart.
"We thought it was tremendously successful in the first year when 1,000 people brought in one item each.
"But now we've seen that grow, with people bringing in carrier bags full of food for such a worthy and deserving charity as Agapecare Foodbank."
. Churches, shops and the Spalding Guardian's offices at 4 Francis Street, Spalding, are ready to take your donations of food.
In Spalding, food, soft drinks, festive items and toys can be left at The Lighthouse Church, Haverfield Road, St Mary and St Nicolas Church, The Vista; St John the Baptist Church, Hawthorn Bank, Sainsbury’s, Holland Market or our reception in The Crescent.
Elsewhere in South Holland, donations are accepted at All Saints Church, Moulton; St Mary’s Church, Whaplode; All Saints’ Church or The Community Rooms, Holbeach; St Mary’s Church or The Market House, Long Sutton; St Matthew’s Church, Sutton Bridge, or Crowland Abbey.
Readers in Donington, Quadring, Gosberton and villages in the Boston borough area can take their donations to St Mary’s Church, Station Road, Sutterton.
You can also donate items at Morrisons, Wardentree Lane, Pinchbeck, and Co-op, West Street, Crowland.