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Bridgwater Foodbank sees rise in demand ahead of Christmas

A foodbank says demand for its services has rocketed by 80% in recent months.

The project manager of Bridgwater Foodbank is expecting a busy Christmas season as the cost of living bites.

A woman who relies on the donations said: “If it was not for the foodbank, we would probably be in a bit of a mess.”

The foodbank was founded in 2013 by Keith Barnard – and his wife volunteers there after his death.

Project manager Phil Jarman said people who had never needed a foodbank before were coming forward for help.

“Cost of living, fuel, general increases in rent – it is all having a huge knock-on effect,” he said.

“It is very upsetting at times, because we see people come through the door who have not been in this situation before and really don’t know where to go to get help,” he added.

One service user has recently come back to the foodbank after first using the service during the Covid-19 pandemic and said it was “a great help”.

The charity said it was expecting a busy Christmas season

And an ex-support worker who has been relying on the foodbank for the past few weeks said she would be “stuck” without it.

“The ladies that run it, I think they are amazing. I would like to help out myself if ever they needed any help,” she said.

Ann Barnard said volunteering at the foodbank kept her going after her husband’s death.

“We have so much food and all we want to do is give it out and give people a good Christmas,” she said.

People who want to use the foodbank can apply for vouchers at one of the charity’s partner agencies, such as GPs, schools and mental health services.



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