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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Hospitality And Hope for South Tyneside’s Struggling Families This Christmas

A South Tyneside Foodbank has delivered both 150 Christmas Hampers and 200 ASDA vouchers to those in need throughout the community.

This comes as foodbanks across the region bemoan a drop in donations as we approach Christmas Day.

Hospitality and Hope has been serving the people of South Tyneside including the South Asian community and Asylum seekers for more than 20 years working alongside the council and other local organisations. Any food supplied is specially prepared to meet their dietary requirements.

In fact, several local companies including the ASDA supermarket have made vital donations to the foodbank across the years. While this continues to be the case, it’s true to say personal donations do seem to have fallen.

Foodbank CEO Brian Thomas explained: “This could be down to the pandemic in the sense individuals might have felt safer not having to mix with groups. And yes of course, it could be people are shopping online in greater numbers because of the advent of Omicron as well approaching Christmas.

“We do have quite a few people from the South Asian communities coming in to use the foodbank but not as many as I would like. We need to do so much more to help, so anyone out there seeing this who needs assistance shouldn’t hesitate to come in.

“There can’t be any worse situation for parents in particular struggling to feed their family simply because it can impact on their lives not just physically but emotionally. We saw a rapid rise in individuals asking for help once the pandemic began. It can also have a huge impact on mental health.

“What we really need to do is more work on prevention, as there really shouldn’t be a need for so many foodbanks not just in the North-East but across the country. It’s something we’ll be looking at closely in the new year.

“Benefits have dropped for a number of people deemed to be in crisis and the universal credit problem has made things much worse.  The work all food banks carry out is priceless as the numbers of people in poverty in this country alone are staggering. We are one of the richest countries in the world, so it really is a disgrace. What makes things worse is, the situation shows little sign of improving.

Any help we can get even from passers by is always greatly appreciated, so please think of those families struggling this Christmas and see what you can do to help whether it’s a tin of beans or several items. It all helps no matter how small.

In response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, The South Tyneside Food Bank is currently open Monday to Friday, providing emergency help for people in the area facing food poverty.

Collections can be made between 10am and 11am for pre-ordered food parcels.

Those in need of a food parcel, one can be arranged via DWP, housing charities, social workers, children’s centres, schools, health workers and other keyworkers in South Tyneside.

The food parcel contains a three-day supply of meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Each parcel will contain enough food for those specified on the voucher from a single person to a family. These parcels include extra items over and above the basics, such as jam, biscuits etc as donations allow.

The group do take allergy problems into account and special dietary needs will always be met with understanding.




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