Food bank fears it will need to turn people away

Erin Tierney at the Thorney, Eye and Surrounding Food HubImage source, Erin Tierney
Image caption,

Volunteer Erin Tierney said the food bank in Thorney wanted to help as many people as possible

  • Published

A food bank near Peterborough feared it could have to start turning away people in need as donations to the site dropped.

Erin Tierney, 35, from the Thorney, Eye and Surrounding Food Hub, said the cost of living crisis was "still happening", as people's "extra pounds become essential money".

Not only has the food bank on Church Street, Thorney, seen the number of items given to it fall, but fundraisers were also bringing in less money than they used to.

Ms Tierney said she hated to think what people would do without the hub, as there was "no great transport link" from the village to other local food banks.

She said the site did not means-test and relied on users being honest about the help they needed.

The lack of items and money coming in had been "disheartening" for volunteers, she said, who had hoped to use extra funds to buy more stock and meet demand.

Ms Tierney told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "Many people who could help us before are now struggling to do so because of the cost of living crisis.

"People don't have spare money to spend... extra pounds are being used on feeding themselves. It isn't disposable income any more, it's essential money.

"We could be close to getting that way soon [turning people away]. We have been fundraising to buy food, but that is not sustainable either."

Image source, Thorney, Eye and Surrounding Food Hub
Image caption,

Food donations can often come from schools in the area

With less money raised through fundraising, Ms Tierney said it could get "incredibly sad and frustrating" when so much time and effort was spent on organising events.

"We just want to help as many people as possible," she said.

"We need to put our thinking caps on and find something new that excites people... something that hasn't been done before.

"A local school, for example, does a non-uniform day, but instead of bringing in a pound everyone brings in a tin of food, which is really good."

Cambridge City Foodbank also reported it had been forced to purchase a quarter of its supplies to meet "unprecedented levels of need".

Its chief executive, Steve Clay, said he was making a plea for more donations "out of desperation" and warned the current situation was "unsustainable".

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