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Borehamwood Foodbank braces itself for winter
A foodbank is bracing itself to feed more people as temperatures fall below freezing and winter begins to bite.
Borehamwood Foodbank, which is based in St Teresa’s Church in Borehamwood, has seen a fifty per cent increase in the number of households coming to it for help since September.
Since it opened at the beginning of the year, the organisation has fed 950 households, compared to 618 in the period up to September.
Of the households who come seeking its help, 50 per cent of these are made up of single people and 30 per cent are families with one or both parents.
The foodbank’s chairman Kristen Payne said: “The number of people using the foodbank is increasing steadily but surely.
“As the cold begins to bite more and more people will have to make the awful choice between heating their homes and eating.
“We’re bracing ourselves for a dramatic increase in demand for our services.”
Food vouchers are given to the Citizens Advice Bureau, housing association Affinity Sutton and other front-line staff, to hand out to people in need.
Each voucher entitles a family to three days worth of food, such as dried pasta, rice and soups, for each person.
People who use the foodbank typically face benefit changes or salary delays, are on low incomes, are suffering sickness or changes of circumstance.
Ms Payne is expecting demand to increase in the new year.
She said: “I don’t know what will happen with changes to benefits as universal credit is introduced. But we expect the problems afflicting those who visit us to increase.”
Ms Payne and her volunteers are gearing up for Christmas, when people will be even more concerned about their inability to provide their families with a decent meal.
She said: “Last weekend we held a collection at Tesco in Shenley Road, and people donated more than two tonnes of food to us, which we are very grateful for.”
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