‘Tough’ Christmas for people in poverty in Hailsham

Malcolm Richards, Food Bank, George Street, Hailsham
Malcolm Richards, Food Bank, George Street, Hailsham

Hailsham Foodbank is appealing for donations to help keep people from going hungry this Christmas.

Since the foodbank opened last year more than 1,100 people have been given emergency food from the foodbank in Hailsham.

Food bank manager, Malcolm Richards, said this Christmas will be ‘especially tough’ for people living in poverty.

He is appealing for people who shop at Tesco in Hailsham to collect a selected shopping list when they enter the store and pick up an item of food on the list, such as longlife milk, cereal, tinned foods and tea and coffee.

The food will then be distributed to the Hailsham foodbank before being given to people in times of crisis.

Malcolm said: “Winter is the hardest time of year for people living in poverty, and this Christmas is looking especially tough as fuel prices continue to rise.

“We’re delighted that Tesco are working with us to help stop local people going hungry this Christmas and we hope that many people will donate a tin or two.”

Customers can donate between today (November 29) and Sunday (December 1).

Around 30 per cent of children living in Hailsham are in poverty according to campaign group End Child Poverty.

The figures released earlier in the year show 35 per cent of youngsters were living below the poverty line in Hailsham East. The report also showed that 24 per cent of youngsters are living in poverty in Hailsham South and West but 11 per cent are living in poverty in Hailsham Central and North.

The figures, which reflect mid-2012, show the amount of poverty measured in each parliamentary constituency. Child poverty is measured by relative low income (household earning less than £16,000) and includes cases of parents who cannot afford new shoes for their children when they are needed, and are forced to skip meals to save money.

A food collection was held at Tesco in Hailsham over the summer which saw a massive 1,511.6kgs of food collected, which is worth around £2,540. A spokesman for Tesco in Hailsham said: “Our customers were incredibly generous when we held our food collection in the summer, so we’re hoping to collect an even bigger total this time. In the run up to Christmas we want to do our bit to feed those in need and volunteers from Hailsham foodbank are really looking forward to taking part in the collection.”

Tesco will top up donations by a further 30 per cent.