WELLS Vineyard Foodbank is calling for urgent help to meet the demand for emergency food parcels which has seen an increase of 321 per cent since 2019.

More people than ever before are being referred to the food bank due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Wells Vineyard Foodbank is asking people to donate money now to help feed people who are at risk of going hungry.

In 2019, 9,000 meals were distributed, but by last year this had increased to over 80,000 meals.

The food bank is expecting demand to continue to rise steeply due to the cost-of-living crisis which is expected to affect food prices, energy costs, and fuel prices.

The Office for Budget Responsibility is predicting the biggest hit to household finances since 1956-7.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies notes that the cost of living could rise by as much as 10 per cent, but benefits will only rise by 3.1 per cent this year.

This will inevitably cause a significant increase in financial hardship and thereby demand for Foodbank services.

Sue Marland, senior pastor at Wells Vineyard Church and Manager of the Foodbank said: “Demand is so high, it’s now at risk of outstripping our resources.

“We urgently need the community to come together and help support us, if we are going to be able to keep offering the same level of support to each person that comes through the door.

“We will always share all food equitably, but already we have had to make cut backs in the quality and range of the food that we offer in order to feed everyone who has come through our door.

“Without an increase in financial donations, it’s possible we could have to turn some people away this year.

“Many people are astonished to learn that we have to spend £1,500 each month on shopping to supplement the tins and packets that people put in the donation bins at Waitrose, Santander, and Morrisons.

“We actually only get a portion of the total amount donated as some of it goes to other food banks in Somerset and that’s why we are now calling for financial donations as well as products.”

Wells Vineyard Foodbank has set up a GoFundMe appeal and is asking all community members to give what they can to help, https://gofund.me/638faa0a
People can also donate at Wookey Hub.

Anyone shopping, or enjoying a cuppa in their café can simply ask to add an amount of their choice onto the Foodbank Gift Card, held by Wookey Hub.

All the money raised is used by Wookey Hub to purchase products needed by the Foodbank. The products are purchased at cost prices, which helps the Foodbank’s funds to stretch even further.

Alternatively, financial donations can be made to Wells Vineyard Christian Fellowship’s HSBC account; sort code: 40-46-06, account Number: 31387170, use “Wells Vineyard Church” as the reference.