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Food donations accepted at Brighton council receptions as 3,000 a day rely on handouts

- April 23, 2014

Food donations for those struggling on the breadline will be accepted at council receptions as the number of people reliant on food banks in Brighton and Hove tops 3,000 a day.

With more and more people turning to volunteer schemes to keep them and their families fed, Brighton and Hove City Council has confirmed today (Wednesday April 23) it will collect non-perishable items in support of Fareshare.

It comes as the charity, which delivers food to 65 Brighton and Hove charities and community projects, said it had seen a 38% increase in demand for its services in the last 12 months.

This means it is now feeding 3,120 people every day, up from 2,250 in 2012.

The move was taken after lobbying from Labour councillor Emma Daniel.

Labour councillor Emma Daniel said: “I think we as a local authority should be doing everything we can to support the excellent work of the Trussell Trust and others in providing essentials for those most in need.

“That’s why I called for council leader Jason Kitcat to open the receptions of council buildings this week for donations to our city’s foodbanks and I am glad he has now done so.”

Receptions at the council’s customer service centres at Bartholomew House, Brighton and Hove Town Hall will be accepting food until Friday May 3.

According to recent figures, Brighton Fareshare said it had distributed 455 tonnes of food to 65 projects in the last year.

Across Sussex, the Trussell Trust – which administers foodbanks across the country – claims the numbers of people referred to its food banks in the last year was almost 25,000, more than double the 12,000 fed the year before.

Green councillor Bill Randall said: “I support Cllr Daniel’s proposals. I have asked council officers to look at them to see how they might supplement the work the council does to alleviate food poverty across the city.

“We give a grant to FareShare and we give small grants to food banks who work with it.

“We also run food banks directly through some of our children’s centres.

“Food banks have the added value of bringing people living in extreme hardship into contact with council services and voluntary organisations who can help them with other problems.

“They can play a vital role, for example, in connecting people with financial problems to the council’s community services, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Money Advice and Community Support and others who offers advice on benefits and money management to people living on the breadline to help them stay out of the clutches of pay day lenders and loan sharks.”

For more details on Fareshare visit http://www.faresharebrightonandhove.org.uk/

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