VOLUNTEERS at Droitwich Foodbank have launched a Christmas appeal for items and say the demand for parcels is at an all-time high this year because of delays to people’s Universal Credit.
The monthly benefit has been surrounded by controversy throughout the year, with many users claiming they do not have enough money to eat or pay their rent.
Foodbank volunteers have been working tirelessly to make sure this year’s Christmas appeal is its most successful yet.
The team has already sent off more than 70 ‘Christmas boxes’ – with more to go – to charities such as AgeUK and the WANDS Children Centre.
Each one is filled with Christmas goodies and festive treats including mince pies and gifts for youngsters.
Foodbank warehouse manager Debbie Ash said: “It has gone really well and people have been amazingly generous.
“We’re extremely thankful because it’s the busiest we’ve been since we first opened five years ago.
“It’s a shame that some people are waiting up to six weeks before their first Universal Credit payment goes into their bank.
“People can get a loan but that needs paying back which isn’t great when you’re already on a low income.”
Debbie said she believed there were other reasons behind the demand increase too, including clients losing their benefits too quickly when they found a job.
It means they have to wait a month before they get paid leaving them with nothing to live on until then.
“Many folk are also on a very low income at a time when the cost of living is rising.
“We will always get a few through our doors who are not in genuine need, but most of clients are in real crisis situations.”
Droitwich Foodbank has also been sending out standard boxes of non-perishable foods and say it has fed 126 people in the last 12 days alone.
Supplies such as long-life milk, soup, tinned fruit and vegetables, and tea bags are still needed, along with washing up liquid, laundry capsules and deodorant.
Visit droitwichspa.foodbank.org.uk to find out more about what you can donate and where it can be dropped off.