Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, is urging her constituents to support the vital work of Newcastle West End Foodbank during the festive season and beyond, following a recent pre-Christmas visit.
Newcastle West End Foodbank seeks to provide a first stage response to local people in crisis and experiencing hunger – including those in need from Newcastle North – and Catherine paid a visit to the foodbank last week to drop off a donation from her and her local team, made in lieu of the cost of sending out traditional Christmas cards across the constituency this year.
During her visit, Chief Executive John McCorry updated Catherine on the scale of the support now being provided by what is the country’s busiest foodbank, which struggles to keep pace with demand as people find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, pay household bills and put food on the table.
Newcastle West End Foodbank has seen a 20% increase in the need for support over the last six months, with around 11 tonnes of food now being distributed each month and an average of almost 300 vouchers for emergency food parcels being issued each week to individuals and families in need. Food parcels are distributed four times a week to clients referred to the service due to financial hardship, with these parcels providing basic, nutritional, non-perishable foods, enabling meals for three days.
Just under half of the people to benefit from these food parcels are children under the age of 16, who live in families experiencing food poverty. On average, the food dispensed by Newcastle West End Foodbank feeds approximately 46,020 people annually and this number continues to grow.
‘It’s absolutely devastating that foodbanks have to exist in what is one of the largest economies in the world – and that the demand for the service they provide is still growing.
‘John and his team of dedicated volunteers, supported by many local businesses, are making a real difference to so many people’s lives across Newcastle. But it’s clear that they are struggling to keep up with demand, so any support that local residents can provide would really help their work to go further.’
There are a number of ways people can support the Newcastle West End Foodbank’s work, including through donations of food or financial support; by volunteering; or by partnering their business with the foodbank’s work – with more information on how to do so available via their website: