THE poorest in Burton face the agonising choice between ‘buying food or paying their bills’, a foodbank boss has warned.
Beverly Finney, administrative co-coordinator for the YMCA Reconnect centre, made the comments after she revealed 117 parcels had been handed out in the first three weeks of October from its foodbank in James Street – more than in each month since the charity began distributing parcels.
A similar warning came from Vik Wileman of The Salvation Army, which runs a foodbank in Moseley Street, who said the number of parcels distributed in October had reached ‘manic’ proportions with 60 handed out.
The charities made the revelations to the Mail after the Government stopped recording the number of people using foodbanks last month.
Ms Finney told the Mail: “A lot of people are running out of money because of bills which are going up.
“They are having to choose between buying food or paying their bills.”
The YMCA has handed out 971 parcels so far this year.
Mr Wileman said members of the Salvation Army would have to think ‘outside the box’ to keep up with demand after he revealed 549 parcels have been handed out in 2013 so far.
Each Salvation Army parcel contains food to support one person for a week.
Mr Wileman said: “At the end of the day it’s our role to find a way.
“It’s not easy and we rely on the generosity of the public who have been very good to us and still are.
“We are seeing the affect of changes to the benefit system and we are coming up to colder weather.”
The Council for Voluntary Services, in Grove Street, Swadlincote, has handed out 537 food parcels in 2013.
Gillian Cox, appeals co-ordinator for the YMCA in Burton, appealed for businesses to offer to provide food to help meet the rising demand from desperate families.
She added that Derbyshire residents can donate at their nearest library.
Any interested businesses have been asked to called the YMCA Reconnect centre on 01283 547211.