SALISBURY Foodbank is calling on the community for support following a report that says one-in-four people who access the service are experiencing high levels of social isolation due to financial hardship.
Maria Stevenson, manager at Salisbury Foodbank, says any way local people can support – from arranging donation drives to raising awareness – will make a big difference for the people in need.
“This harvest season, we are reaching out to our local community to help support our work to break the burden of isolation on those in hardship, so that no one feels alone in their journey,” she said.
“For many of the people who receive our support, walking through the doors of the food bank is one of the few social interactions they will have that week.
“We have become increasingly aware that we are not just providing them with food but also the hope of a welcome and connection.
“We need the help of the community during harvest to continue to address hunger in Salisbury and the surrounding areas and provide the warmth of hospitality to those who have nothing or no one else to lean on.”
Over the last year, food banks in The Trussell Trust network – of which Salisbury is a part – have seen record levels of need amid the cost-of-living crisis.
People are urged to help in many ways including:
• Donating non-perishable goods, such as canned goods and hygiene products
• Financial contributions, which allow the charity to purchase essential items and maintain its operations efficiently – cheques can be made payable to Salisbury Foodbank
• Volunteering their time and skills, allowing them to directly engage with the people the foodbank serves, making connections and breaking down barriers of isolation
• Raising awareness about the campaign at church, on social media, within community groups, or among friends and family
Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, said: “We know that many people turn to food banks as a last resort and feel embarrassed that they need to ask for help but food banks across the country are there to offer a warm welcome, provide essential items and help people access services that can lift them out of poverty.
“By coming together and supporting Salisbury Foodbank this harvest time and through to winter you are not just offering a meal – you are extending a hand of friendship, combating isolation, and helping to provide an environment where everyone is valued.”
Salisbury Foodbank has been providing three days emergency food and support to local people since 2000.
A total of 8,244 emergency food parcels were provided by Salisbury Foodbank between April 2022 and March 2023, the equivalent of 74,196 meals per year, or 203 meals per day.
For more on the work of the food bank, log on to salisbury.foodbank.org.uk.