Flood-hit areas see surge in food banks usage

This Is Local London: Jonathan Lees, volunteer at Epsom and Ewell Foodbank Jonathan Lees, volunteer at Epsom and Ewell Foodbank

Flood-hit areas have seen a rise in the number of residents using food banks over the past month.

Epsom and Ewell Foodbank has distribution centres across Tadworth, Leatherhead Epsom and Ewell and has helped more families since January as numbers on low incomes steadily rise.

Jonathan Lees, a volunteer at the food bank, said: "We’ve been feeding around 195 people per month since April last year.

"I couldn’t directly say that flooding has caused the rise in the Tadworth bank, but January was busier than I expected."

Mr Lees said they had fed 2,000 people in the last financial year and agencies were still signing people up for the service.

He said: "It’s not the same people week in, week out. We see different people in different times of financial crisis and benefit delays."

Those who are affected by flooding can face serious financial issues as they begin to pay for damage caused by bad weather.

Nik Cookson, a flood victim from Thorncroft Drive, Leatherhead, said: "It doesn’t surprise me that this is happening.

"I think more will begin to happen when people realise the extent of the problems others are suffering."

This week the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank are appealing for the following items: female shower gel, sanitary products, nappies size 5 and 6, pet food and children’s toothbrushes as well as spreads like peanut butter and chocolate spread.

  • For more information call 0208 786 8221, email foodbank@generation.org.uk or visit epsomewell.foodbank.org.uk. 

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