New donation point in Dunmow is set up as demand on foodbank increases

Co-op manager Paul Lewis with David Emberson, Uttlesford Foodbank driver, standing next to the new d

Co-op manager Paul Lewis with David Emberson, Uttlesford Foodbank driver, standing next to the new donation point at the back of the checkout. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A new foodbank donation point has been set up in Dunmow, to help cope with an increase in the number of people from the town using the service.

Uttlesford Foodbank has revealed the number of people receiving food from their Dunmow collection point has risen by 79 per cent this year, with a donation point now at the Co-op, in White Street, as well as at Tesco.

Between January 1 this year and August 29, 280 people collected food from the Dunmow site, including 103 children. Last year, and within the same time period, 156 people used the Dunmow service, including 60 children. Overall last year, 307 people received food from the Dunmow collection point.

Malcom Domb, co-ordinator at Uttlesford Foodbank, said that in the whole of Uttlesford there had been a 40 per cent rise of people using the service between January and August this year, compared to last year. Overall, the foodbank fed 998 people, including 336 children between January 2018 and 2019.

Mr Domb said it was "hard to say" why there had been a particular rise in the number of people collecting food from the Dunmow hub, but he added there was "definitely an increase in demand" for the service provided by the foodbank. People can also collect food from points in Saffron Walden and Thaxted.

Mr Domb said: "It might be increased awareness. We have got reasons why people are referred to Uttlesford Foodbank in general, because of debt, domestic abuse, relationship break-ups, redundancies."

People are generally referred to the foodbank by other organisations, the main one being Uttlesford Citizens Advice, he said.

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Kate Robson, chief executive at Uttlesford Citizens Advice, said she couldn't comment on why there had been a spike in the use of the foodbank in Dunmow, but explained that since July this year their Dunmow office has been open for four days a week, rather than three.

Ms Robson said: "We needed more appointment space to see clients, specifically around universal credit, and clients can get access to computers."

This month, the foodbank particularly needs sugar, coffee, long-life juice and squash, toilet paper and toothbrushes, bags of rice, microwave puddings, jellies, washing detergent, rice pudding and custard.