Food banks across the city fear they will have to close as they face an all-time low in donations amid a rising demand for assistance.
The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership said food banks now have to spend hundreds of pounds a week to replenish dwindling stocks.
The collective of dozens of food banks across the city warned that such spending is unsustainable and could force some organizations to make tough decisions, such as buying food.
The organization has launched a Food SOS campaign, calling on businesses and other groups to help raise funds or organize food collections to donate to food banks.
Helen Starr-Keddle, project manager at Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, said: “For the past few weeks our phones have been ringing non-stop from people who have absolutely no food at home and no money to buy anything.
“This Christmas will be particularly brutal for hard-hit families trying to make ends meet.
“Food bank staff are exhausted and overwhelmed with no end in sight.”
She urged those who can afford to do so.
Figures from the city’s emergency supply network released earlier this year show that food banks have seen a 69 percent drop in cash and food donations.
Brighton and Hove Food Bank’s Mike Jourdain said that while he was “grateful” for people’s generosity, the demand for support had increased enormously, raising concerns that smaller food banks in the city might have to close.
He said: “We’re seeing so many people coming to our door – now 250 people a week, or about 125 households.
“We buy in half the food we spend – £1,500 a week is unsustainable and we are concerned how this will impact our work in 2023.”
Around 40 emergency providers operate in Brighton and Hove, including food banks, community meals and social supermarkets, supporting over 5,000 people in the city each week.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23181120.brighton-food-banks-face-closure-amid-surge-demand/?ref=rss Food banks in Brighton face closure amid rising demand