06:36PM, Wednesday 13 October 2021
Windsor Foodshare has been struggling with donations in light of an extended period of higher demand.
The foodbank has always had a generous amount of donations, including during the worst of the pandemic – but lately, donations appear to be going elsewhere and the foodbank has struggled.
It has needed to buy items from shops to stock up its shelves and has spent more than £3,000 recently. This is ‘not sustainable’ in the long term, Foodshare manager Maria Rucci says.
“We are buying more and more to keep up with demand, it’s madness,” she said.
“We’ve been here for eight years, I have never thought about us not being here. We have never had to turn anyone away, we have always managed somehow.”
Thankfully, the foodbank is experiencing a temporary reprieve in the form of the harvest festival. Many local churches and schools have donated large quantities of food.
“For the first time in months, we haven’t had to do a shop this week,” said Maria. “We have got enough stock at the moment to keep us going for at least a month.”
It is expecting yet more harvest donations to come in – but at the same time, the foodbank is currently in very high demand, certain to increase going into winter.
That is especially so given the extra stresses recently placed on households. Last week, the £20-a-week uplift to universal credit ended, and the nation heard that energy bill prices were expected to rise.
“It’s going to make a huge different to people’s bills. I’m worried for people,” said Maria.
On top of which, the pandemic is continuing to cause job loss.
“There’s nothing worse than gong into winter with not enough funds anyway, and bills get so high, you either choose not to heat your home or get into more debt,” said Maria.
“In winter people eat more, trying to stay warm. We have a lot of people coming in who are cold because they haven’t turned the heating up.”
Windsor Foodshare is asking anyone who can to donate. There is a drop-off point inside the Tesco on Dedworth Road and at the foodbank itself, open 10am-3pm every Wednesday and Thursday at Dedworth Green Baptist Church, Smiths Lane.
The food bank is also looking for volunteers. There is no lower limit on volunteer hours and there are a number of roles, including work-from-home admin and delivery driving.
If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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