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Saturday, 26 July 2014

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North Lakes Foodbank takes part in UK's biggest ever food collection

The biggest-ever food collection in the UK is being launched as a record number of people in Cumbria seek help from foodbanks to stop going hungry.

Jessica Hendry photo
Jessica Hendry

Help Feed People In Need is being mounted to boost supplies of food for the thousands of people who can’t afford to feed themselves.

It is being organised by Tesco with support from food charity FareShare and foodbanks charity the Trussell Trust.

Collections will take place this weekend at Tesco stores between 9am and 6pm.

The North Lakes Foodbank, which is based in Cockermouth, has seen a 600 per cent increase this year in people from Allerdale and Copeland seeking help.

Jessica Hendry, of the North Lakes Foodbank, said they were currently feeding around 240 people every month.

She said: “Cumbria has seen record numbers turn to foodbanks in the last six months. The North Lakes Foodbank has fed 2,000 local people since April this year. We are delighted to be part of Tesco’s Help Feed People in Need appeal as we’re anticipating more people will need emergency food this winter than ever before.

“Please pop in to your local Tesco store to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.’

New research has revealed that around 10 per cent of people in the north west – including Cumbria – have suffered from some form of food poverty in the last 12 months, with five per cent of people skipping meals and four per cent relying on friends or family to provide food. Significant numbers of parents had also gone without food to feed their children.

The research also found that in the last year, 25 per cent of people in the region had changed their eating habits, buying less expensive food or reducing the amount they eat.

Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco said: “This Christmas we want to use our scale and our links with communities across the country to help tackle this growing problem.

“We recently held some local food collections and were overwhelmed by the support from our customers, who have shown incredible generosity.”

Chris Mould, executive chairman of Trussell Trust, which is linked to North Lakes Foodbank, said: “Across the UK, Trussell Trust foodbanks are seeing thousands more people in crisis turn to us for help. Every day we meet parents who are skipping meals to feed their children, or people who are forced to choose between eating and heating.

“We are delighted that Tesco is working with The Trussell Trust’s network of over 280 UK food banks and FareShare to help stop people going hungry this Christmas.”

Tesco will be topping up total donations by 30 per cent.

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