Potters Bar foodbank appeals for donations as summer demand soars
PUBLISHED: 11:43 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:46 09 August 2018
supplied by Potters Bar foodbank
Potters Bar Food Bank is appealing for donations as they expect demand to soar over the summer holiday period.
With schools broken up for the summer, the extra meals needed can tip some overstretched families into huge difficulties.
Esther Chelliah-Tam, who runs Potters Bar Foodbank, told the Potters Bar edition that she is anticipating increased demand this summer.
In the last financial year, the service helped 538 people, 253 of whom were children, and Esther currently expects around four to six families per week to visit.
“We are in short supply of a few things,” she said.
These include non-food supplies such as kitchen towels, toilet paper, toothbrushes, and nappies - particularly for babies aged one to three.
“Most of our clients are coming for very, very basic stuff,” said Esther, pointing out that if someone is unable to afford food they may also be struggling to afford other practical items.
“These things are not coming in in the amount that we really need, generally,” said Esther.
They also need cooking oil, tinned fruit, meat and fish, but thankfully have enough beans and pasta sauces.
“When I put out a call for things that are in short supply, people have been quite generous,” Esther added.
“Sometimes we do get things that are expired but generally people are quite good.”
However at times the foodbank’s volunteers have had to reach into their own pockets to nip over to the shops and supply an item which the bank is short of, or a client may have to wait until next week.
Potters Bar Foodbank, which is part of the national Trussell Trust network, has been in operation since 2013, when it began as a project by a group of young people that Esther was mentoring.
That has expanded to become a broader community project.
Esther hastened to give a “huge thank you” to the volunteers, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, including 16 to 18 year olds on their school work experience placements.
She said that the main reasons people use the food bank are due to being on a low income, the effects of an illness, or delays in their benefits.
Donations can be made at the Wayside Centre, Oakmere between 12.30 and 2.30 on Saturdays, as well as at collection points at Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
See www.pottersbar.foodbank.org.uk or call 01707 876060.