A FOODBANK claims it is short of supplies after seeing a surge in families needing help over halfterm.

Southchurch Foodbank now needs donations from the public to continue to provide those in need with meal ideas.

The charity receives donations from churches, schools and collection points in Tesco and Waitrose.

Cass Francis, warehouse co-ordinator for the charity, said: “We are running out of things like tinned pies and fish, carrots, sweetcorn and pasta sauce. We’re also getting low on nice things like sugar and tinned custard and puddings, chocolates, crisps and treats.

“Over half-term we had more families than usual, but that’s to be expected as children aren’t having school meals.

“We’ve seen a gentle increase in demand as we open more distribution centres from Tuesday to Saturday across the borough. The more places we open, the more food we are able to give.

“We get at least half of our food from Tesco collection points and we are helped by the schools, churches and Waitrose.

“We’ve gone from four distributions points to six. We now have one in Hawkwell and Crowstone United Reformed Church, Westcliff and Bellvue Church, Southend, twice a week, and at West Leigh as well as Ferndale Baptist Church.

“Anyone who would like to donate can bring it the warehouse at Friendship House, Southchurch Road, Southend, or to the Tesco or Waitrose collection points.”

Across Southend, 6,878 pupils are eligible for free school meals.

In February, the foodbank issued enough vouchers to feed 225 adults and 105 children. One voucher supplies food for three days.

The charity started in 2013 and is committed to a three-year programme of food distribution. Ms Francis added: “We signed up with the Trussell Trust for three years and pay the trust a small amount for its administrative resources.

“It’s a bit of a dichotomy really, being really pleased people are being helped, but also sad at the fact we are needed in the first place .

“It’s a shame, in a country which is so affluent, we have people who have to turn to foodbanks.”

For more details about the charity, visit Southchurch Foodbank on Facebook.


SOUTHCHURCH Foodbank has assembled 2,200 boxes of food since it opened in 2013.

More than 2,000 have been distributed to both single people and families in that period.

Distribution centres vary in the amount of boxes given out, with some giving just one or two a week and others handing out more than 17 boxes a day.

Nationally, the Trussell Trust says it is seeing an increasing number of families in need of its services.

The most up-to-date figures show 913,138 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2013-14 compared to 346,992 in 2012-13.