Foodbank purchasing a quarter of supplies is 'unsustainable'

Steve Clay, chief executive of Cambridge City FoodbankImage source, Dave Webster/BBC
Image caption,

Steve Clay, chief executive of Cambridge City Foodbank, said help was "desperately" needed

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A city foodbank has been forced to purchase a quarter of its supplies to meet "unprecedented levels of need".

Cambridge City Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust, has been operating for 14 years.

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

"We could soon be facing a reality in which we have to turn people away who desperately need our support," he said.

Mr Clay said it was now at "crisis" point due to an "upwards trajectory of need across the past few years".

"Thanks to the generosity of the people of Cambridge, the donations we received have, in general, been in line with the levels of need that we have faced," he added.

"However, the combination of lower food donations and higher need means that we are now having to purchase around 25% of the food that we provide to our visitors.

"This would have been unimaginable just a few years ago and is in no way sustainable in the long term."

He said the current situation was threatening to undermine the progress made during the previous 14 years.

The foodbank has worked alongside Cambridge and District Citizens Advice to give clients access to a financial advisor.

"This project costs the foodbank money but has yielded simply incredible results. So far, the project has unlocked almost £500,000 in additional funds for our visitors."

Mr Clay described this as "life-changing money", but said the Cambridge foodbank was still very much in need of additional donations to meet the growing need.

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