A SCHEME which provides emergency food parcels for people facing temporary financial hardship has seen the need for parcels rocket due to the current Covid-19 situation.

Last month Hambleton FoodShare more than quadrupled the amount of parcels it distributed compared to the same month the previous year.

April 2019 saw it give out 70 parcels but this April it distributed 312.

Chairman Michal Webster said: “We are seeing a steady rise each month.

“Since lockdown started the need for parcels is growing and we are seeing people coming for parcels who say they thought they would never be in such a desperate plight that they had to rely upon a foodbank.

“We are meeting the need due to the amazing generosity of the communities it serves who are continuing to donate despite the number of collection points which have had to close as they were in building which are temporarily shut and also to a larger intake of cash donations from individuals, organisations and companies.

“Our co-ordinator Alison Grainger together with our dedicated team of volunteers are doing a wonderful job and ensuring those in need are getting the help they need.

The Northern Echo:

Alison Grainger of Hambleton FoodShare Picture: Richard Doughty

“Sadly we do not expect the need for parcels to decrease for many months.”

Non-perishable food can still be left in Northallerton at: Sainsburys, the customer services desk in Tesco and in the porch at the Willow Beck Pub and Restaurant after 12 noon.

In Bedale, goods can be left at donation points in both Tesco and the Co-op shop.

The community-led Hambleton Foodshare partnership provides a three day food parcel to people in immediate financial crisis.

This could be for reasons such as unemployment, incapacity due to illness or a delay in benefit payment.

The volunteer-led food store is open every Monday between 4pm and 6pm at The Living room, Garthway Arcade in Northallerton.

To receive emergency food help, customers must be able to demonstrate their need, primarily by being referred through an agency or by self-referral.

FoodShare is appealing for continuing donations due to the increasing demand for goods during the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking in late March when the spike in demand first began, Ms Grainger said: “We are really grateful for people who are continuing to donate and we would like to say, please continue to donate if you can.”

For further information about the scheme or to make a cash donation to help keep it running, call 07514-244158.

Alternatively, email info@hambletonfoodshare.org.uk or visit the scheme’s website for further details.