The Hereford Diocesan Social Aid charity is looking for extra donations to build up their stock for the winter and cope with significant demand.
There has been a huge increase in people asking for help this year, with the bank distributing upwards of 50 bags a week in February.
And the trend is national: three times as many people were receiving emergency food supplies in April this year compared to the same period last year.
Food bank enquiries at Citizens Advice bureaux have also seen a 78% increase in the past six months, with the worst affected region here in the West Midlands with a six-month rise of 142%.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Food banks have no place in modern Britain.
“Millions of families are facing a perfect storm of pressures on their budgets.
“The combined impact of welfare upheaval, cuts to public spending, low wages and the high cost of living are putting unbearable pressure on many households, forcing them to seek emergency help putting food on the table.”
Hereford’s food bank is administered from the Bishop’s Palace but with a store and distribution centre in Aubrey Street. Despite engaging in what is clearly a timely political act of giving food to the needy the charity has failed to make it an overtly political problem, refusing to point the finger at anyone or give a solution to the problem.
It’s a ‘sticking plaster’ approach.
In much the same way as posters did the rounds in pubs ‘barring’ Alistair Darling for increasing duty on alcohol, Hereford’s food bank should have a massive banner in the window proclaiming ‘David Cameron: enter at your own risk’. But it doesn’t.
They should be giving out leaflets with every food parcel entitled ‘Don’t want to live on handouts for the rest of your life? Get out on the streets and demonstrate!’ But they don’t.
Unless things change dramatically food banks may become a permanent fixture.
Charity like this is important as the final lifeline for the vulnerable but it will only treat the symptoms and not the illness.
Back in April we predicted that Britain would erupt in a wave a class anger in retaliation at the cost of living. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s a slow burning fuse. One day it’ll blow.
Below is the current list of items being appealed for by Hereford’s food bank. Please support your fellow Herefordians and donate what you can. Food can be left at Hereford cathedral, All Saints church, The diocesan office at the Bishop’s Palace, the Town Hall and Hereford Times office.
Tinned veg (potatoes/packet Smash, peas, carrots, sweetcorn, tomatoes, baked beans, spaghetti)
Tinned meat and fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, corned beef, Spam, minced beef, stews, pies, hotdogs, meatballs, curries, chilli)
Puddings (tinned fruit, tinned pudding, tinned rice pudding, tinned/packet custard)
Groceries (dried milk/UHT milk, sugar, coffee, tea bags, rice, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, biscuits, marmalade, jam)
Personal items (toothpaste, shampoo, soap, soap powder, washing up liquid, loo rolls)