Three fold increase in demand for charity help in Northampton since start of pandemic

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There are a growing number of families relying on charities for food in the Anglia region.

There has been a threefold increase in the number of people using the services of Northampton's Hope Centre, which supports those on low incomes. 

Many have been made redundant over the last few months, and are now struggling to make ends meet.

People of all ages are relying on this food club in Northampton. 

Food bank Credit: ITV Anglia

The Hope Centre has been supporting those living below the poverty line for almost 50 years now.

But this year has been one of the worst, demand for the service has tripled during the pandemic. 

Many who turned up today are on benefits, and simply don't have enough money to eat.

Around 600 people are now depending on the charity every week - that's compared to 200 before coronavirus hit. 

Sue Hogan, Volunteer Northampton Hope Centre:

People that have been made redundant, lost their job for different reasons, companies have shut so they find themselves in a situation where they're having to apply for universal credit, obviously there's a delay in that coming through, so they come to us, and we'll help them out with the food for as long as they need us.

Sue Hogan, Volunteer Northampton Hope Centre

And the Chief Executive of Northampton's Hope Centre - Robin Burgess - expects the situation will get worse over the winter.

He said: "This is a reflection of the size of the problem of unemployment and poverty caused by covid, but also before that, there were always a lot of people who were unemployed and on low incomes, put that together with covid and the increasing redundancies, mean that we are seeing far more people in financial difficulty." 

Donations from schools and churches are giving this charity hope they'll be able to continue supporting the most vulnerable, as now more than ever, they need a helping hand.