Million meals needed to stockpile for struggling families this winter

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report

An organisation which helps get much-needed food to charities says it needs to stockpile more than a million meals to support struggling families this winter.

FareShare South West is predicting it will need to supply food for more than 30,000 people over the next three months.

The charity is in partnership with more than 300 smaller charities such as foodbanks, lunch clubs and school breakfast clubs.

One of those charities is Mercy in Action in Bath, who've more than doubled their pantry operation since starting 18 months ago.

It would actually be heart breaking this year if I had to make a decision between feeding my children and whether Santa is coming.

Laura, Mercy in Action Pantry member

Laura's family is one of those being supported by the pantry. 18 months ago she left a relationship where she faced domestic violence. Since losing a vital second income to support her children, the mum of two suddenly found herself in financial difficulty.

She told ITV West Country she's had to ask herself difficult questions this year but couldn't be more grateful for the help she has received from Mercy in Bath.

The charity was set up in 1995 to help the poorest communities in the Philippines but in the past 18 months they have been running a pantry style foodbank to help families closer to home in Bath.

They have gone from regularly helping 40 families to 140.

People are a few weeks away all the time from not having enough money. So some of our families just come once a month because by the end of the month they are struggling. Others need help week after week.

Allison Todd, Founder, Mercy in Action.
FareShare are looking for volunteers for their Foodstock appeal. Credit: ITV News West Country

During the first national lockdown, Fareshare was in such demand their operation grew by 500%.

This winter the charity is asking for people in Bristol to donate their money or their time for Foodstock appeal.

The organisation already has agreements with food providers but needs help from volunteers to pack food at their Ashton Gate warehouse. Find out more about getting involved here.


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