It was a very busy Christmas period for the Andover foodbank but with generous donations from the community and the hard work of volunteers over 1180 Christmas gift boxes were distributed to children via care workers at local agencies including Children’s Services, Andover Young Carers and a number of primary schools. In addition, more than 860 Christmas food hampers full of Christmas treats were distributed. Both projects make an enormous difference to the festive season, helping to alleviate some financial pressures and allowing people to celebrate the season rather than exist through it. Requests for both gift boxes and hampers were higher than in 2021 and more food boxes were given out in December than in any previous year. The additional demand is likely to have been caused by the impact of higher bills and the reduction in universal credit.
Looking ahead into 2022, Jenny LeLean, foodbank Manager, explained that the foodbank expects to see continued high demand for food boxes and other times such as cleaning materials and toiletries. The foodbank will continue to include market vouchers in food boxes. These vouchers were introduced in early 2021 as part of the foodbank’s emergency provision and enable clients to access fresh produce. Jenny said ‘Partnership working is key to supporting people and we will continue to strengthen our connections to ensure that no one goes without these basic essentials’.
The foodbank would like to thank everyone who donated to the foodbank during 2021 and wish them all a happy New Year.