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North East foodbank usage still at record levels

A charity claims that the use of foodbanks in the North East remains at record levels.

The Trussell Trust, which runs the biggest network in the country, says it has given out more emergency supplies in the first six months of this financial year compared with last.

Other foodbanks agree but the government insists the claims are misleading, as Claire Montgomery reports:

Archbishop of York to launch new community bank in Hexham

Archbishop of York - John Sentamu Credit: PA

A new community bank in Hexham will be launched today by Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

The Tynedale Community Bank will be formally opened with a presentation at Hexham Abbey.

It will offer both savings and loans to people in the local area.

It's designed to provide an alternative to payday lenders and will focus on the needs of local businesses and families.

This is the 2nd bank of its type in the North East and is inspired by the Church of England's call for a return to community-based backing.


Increased demand for foodbank over Christmas

A service that helps some of Newcastle's most vulnerable people has opened over the Christmas holidays for a second time because of an increase in demand.

The Newcastle Welfare Rights Service helps those struggling with benefits sanctions, evictions and other emergencies. For the first time it's also handing out food parcels on behalf of Newcastle West End Food Bank - which is closed until January the 5th.

Some sanction decisions came through last week which were probably made the week before...but because of the week it was and with other agencies being closed, we can usually help with legal issues but their immediate need was for food.

– Frank Mc Enaney, Welfare Rights Service Manager

Full Report: Newcastle food bank struggles with demand

A foodbank in Newcastle has been forced to bring in extra supplies from across the country after it ran out of provisions due to soaring demand.

Food and drink were sent to the Newcastle West End Foodbank from a service in Lincolnshire.

Jonny Blair has been speaking to Michael Nixon from Newcastle West End Foodbank and Kevin who uses the foodbank.

A thousand people a week visit Newcastle foodbank

A foodbank in Newcastle has been forced to bring in extra supplies from across the country because demand in the city has soared.

Food and drink has been sent from a sister organisation in Lincolnshire because the Newcastle West End Foodbank has been running out of supplies.

Volunteers say the number of people using the service has rocketed from 30 people a week to 1000.

Michael Nixon from Newcastle West End Foodbank says he thinks demand will continue to increase.


Bishop of Jarrow: 2013 the year of the food bank?

The Bishop of Jarrow has suggested that 2013 may well be remembered as the year of the food bank.

In his festive message, the Right Reverend Mark Bryant said as many people struggle to make ends meet, "it seems impossible to separate Christmas and food banks."

New figures released by a charity show there has been a sixfold increase in just one year.

Julia Barthram has spent the day at a food bank in Gateshead.

Advice on how to deal with festive debt

A big contributing factor in so many people using food banks is rising troubles with debt. And Christmas can be a big contributing factor to money worries.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has come up with a festive way how to deal with the problems we may encounter.

They're calling it 12 small changes for a festive Christmas.

The advice is on their website and covers issues such debt, budgeting, clever shopping, consumer problems and foodbanks.

The CAB also offers other trusted sources of advice if needed as Shona Alexander explains.

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