The grant will make a huge difference as local people continue to struggle
The Leus Family Foundation has made another grant to the Runnymede Foodbank to assist with the current increased need, with rising fuel, heating and food bills adding to the difficulty local families living in poverty are facing.
The manager of Runnymede Foodbank, Jenny Wardill, welcomed the recent donation: “We warmly welcome this additional support from the Leus Family Foundation. We are seeing a rise both in the volume of people needing our services and also the length of time that they need help for. We expect a challenging winter and so this assistance from Dmitry Leus and his foundation is greatly appreciated.”
The foodbank has noted higher demand across its six sites which operate five days a week, with the warehouse teams delivering and dispatching three to four times per week.
The organisation has also seen that clients are becoming more long term, sometimes needing to visit the foodbank for up to 12 weeks. There are fears that this is a sign of families and individuals falling into deeper poverty, with longer term needs.
The Runnybank Foodbank has also been very active in helping families through the school holidays to ensure that children most in need have access to food.
At the beginning of July, 400 food4lunch bags were sent out to families of children who use free school meals. The bags contained ingredients and recipes to supply them with two weeks’ worth of hot meals for the child. This school holiday preparation cuts down the demand slightly but then picks up again towards the end of August and the month of September.
During the summer, there are around 70-100 visitors, who are visiting to feed families of four or five. Numbers then rise to 200 or 300. Visitors double towards the end of the summer compared to the start. The Chertsey site is open for two hours and it was getting 10-15 clients. Now it is seeing 20-30 clients for families of varying sizes.
In addition, the foodbank has employed an advisor from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), a valuable resource to support and advise clients with the aim of improving their situation.
Dmitry Leus, founder of the Leus Family Foundation, said: “We are long term supporters of the Runnymede Foodbank and we see how crucial their work is. Our Foundation aims to provide opportunity to the most vulnerable children and of course that starts with the most basic requirement – that they not face hunger. We also want to help alleviate the enormous stress on parents if they are not able to put food on the table for their family.
“I do encourage anyone else who is able to donate to think of Runnymede and make a contribution if they can, especially as we look towards a difficult winter for many.”