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Demand for donated food in borough is on the rise.

THE demand for a new foodbank set up to help struggling families in Gateshead is on the rise.

The Gateshead Foodbank has welcomed its 200th member and has given out 2.1 tonnes of food since it opened 13 weeks ago.

More than 100 volunteers have worked around the clock to provide the frontline service to 210 people, 52 of whom were children, since just before Christmas.

The secretary of Beacon Lough Baptist Church Ian Britton, who is part of the Gateshead Foodbank, said the demand for emergency food is growing each week.

He said: "The figures are quite a revelation.

Thirteen weeks ago we started with nothing and now we are feeding 210 people.

"The number of people we are feeding goes up each week and we are distributing food all over Gateshead.

"People have come from all 15 wards and it's not just people in the inner city. We didn't know how much of a demand there would be in Gateshead but information showed there was need for a foodbank.

"We are now getting more professionals coming forward asking for our help."

Figures obtained by organisers show that more people living in Deckham have used the foodbank than anywhere else in the borough, with 19 adults and 16 children from the ward using the service.

In Lobley Hill and Bensham, 23 adults and nine children have also been handed emergency food.

Organisers said the majority of people living in Gateshead had turned to the foodbank when there had been a delay in their benefits or changes to their benefits.

Figures also showed that low income and debt were among the reasons for folk using the foodbank.

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GROWING Volunteers man the foodbank
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 20, 2013
Words:285
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