Charity calls for help from community as cost of living crisis takes hold

A local charity that supports residents of East Durham in financial hardship is reaching out to its community to support for their food crisis project, as the cost of living crisis take effect.

East Durham Trust supports in excessive of 600 adults and children every month who can’t afford to eat, with provision of an emergency food parcel via its food poverty intervention project FEED. As food and fuel prices increase the needs for support is growing and the FEED projects has already began to see a sharp increase in referrals.

At the same time, many people are tightening their belts, as they also see the cost of living increase and donations of perishable food items are in decline. The two factors combined are seeing the shelves of the foodbank looking very sparse, with the project having to limit the amount of food they are able to provide in their parcels.

The Trust is reaching out to those who can afford to put an extra tin or packet in their shopping basket, to do so and to donate to their emergency food project. The project is also looking for volunteers who can spare some time to help sort and distribute donations.

Lindsey Wood, Deputy Manager said “Usually at this time of year we are still able to meet local need with food items that were donated over the Christmas period, at time when we traditionally see a huge influx in support for the project. This year the Christmas donations are all but gone, and we have growing concern of how we can continue to meet increasing community need”.

“We receive referrals every day from people who are struggling to afford food and fuel. Many of the people we support have never accessed a foodbank before and have only recently found themselves in this position”.

The FEED project is accessible by local people in financial hardship who are referred for support by professional agencies they are working with. In addition to emergency food the Trust also provides fuel vouchers, hot meals, benefit and debt advice, along with opportunities for social interaction and arts participation.

The project is supported by a team of volunteers, who give up their time every week to help collect and sort donations, make up food parcels, and take parcels to local community hubs for collection.  Extra hands to support the project are always welcome, especially as times become more difficult and there is more work to do.

If you would like to make a donation you can drop off food at Community House, Yoden Road Peterlee, SR8 5DP. There is also a donation points in Asda store Peterlee and Sainsburys in Horden and Peterlee. A full list of donation points can be found on the Trust’s website.