Campaign prompts surge in donations

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Organisers of Belper Food Bank say they have been “staggered” by the generosity of people in the town in the build-up to Christmas.

Our Feed our Families campaign has been running since late October and has helped increase donations and volunteers, according to charity Hope for Belper.

However, local churches have also been doing their bit, raising around £1,600, some of which will be used to fund 33 special Christmas hampers for needy families.

The Yuletide-themed donations being dropped off at our donation points at Belper Library and Strutts Community have been filling donations bins at Christ Church and St Peter’s Church.

Those generous offerings will feed into the normal deliveries made by volunteer drivers.

Some workplaces in the town have also made enquiries about having their own permanent collection bins for employees.

Gareth Greenwood, from Hope for Belper said: “Donations have increased which will also help us go into the New Year, which is generally a quiter time, with a good stock.

“We do have a higher 
profile now and a lot of people are saying they didn’t even know there was a food bank in Belper.

“Referrals are increasing steadily with a lot of people who have been hit by the sterner system and the bedroom tax.”

The food parcels will be distributed to families referred to the Hope for Belper food bank over the festive season. However, more foodstuffs - particularly festive-related items are still needed to ensure that needy families have at least something to celebrate Christmas with this year.

We have been asked to appeal for non-perishable goods.

In a boost to the campaign, Belper Library is now acting as a drop-off point thanks to Derbyshire County Council, so it is easier than everfor people to support our appeal.

We are also continuing to collect donations at our weekly reporter’s surgeries on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 12pm at the Strutts Community Centre, Derby Road, Belper.

You can also hand over items at our head office at 8 Heanor Road, Ilkeston, DE7 8ER. We’re based at the ilkeston Advertiser office, opposite Weleda, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. The reception is closed between 1pm and 2pm.

Donations dropped off at Strutts MUST be given directly to the reporter. Nationally figures show that the use of food banks is rising, which had led to critics of the Coalitions sayingnthat more needs to be done to tackle food poverty.

Last week we told you how our camapign had received lofty priase from the Prime Minister David Cameron himslef when our editor attended a recpetion at Downing Street, when she took the opportunity to tell the PM about our appeal.

Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has also given her support to the campaign.