CHRISTMAS can be a “difficult and anxious” time for those unable to live up to festive family expectations, as the Haslemere food bank team know only too well.
Volunteers pulled out all the stops for the food bank’s special Christmas distribution on the morning of December 20 and prepared an amazing display for their guests to choose from – all donated – of toys and presents, toiletries and cosmetics, books and games, and a selection of children’s clothes.
There were also food packs, which included Christmas goodies, such as mince pies, cake, puddings and all the ingredients for a festive family meal.
Foodbank management group chairman David Rice said: “Those referred to us at this difficult and anxious time were able to choose some items to bring them cheer.
“In just two hours, we were able to support and encourage 91 families. A big thank you to our volunteers, to the generous people of the area who donated all the food and gifts, and to those who shared the day with us.
“We have been busier than ever this past six months. We regularly prepare four food packs for each session. Whereas once it was an occasional session when extra packs had to be produced, now it is a regular task for our volunteers to prepare extra packs during our opening times.
Food banks were busy all over the borough, particularly in the eastern villages, with operators reporting some very desperate people being referred.
Apparently, many of the issues people face are triggered by problems around Universal Credit and the statutory five-week gap in financial support following changes in their benefits. More people are using food banks in Waverley and for longer periods.
Should this be happening in our borough?