A foodbank in Bromley is urging people to donate so that they can keep their emergency food packages running for the winter.

Bromley Borough Foodbank was able to increase its emergency packages, which also include toiletries and laundry items, from three to five days a week in the pandemic thanks to help from the community.

However, donations to the foodbank have dropped almost 75% since 2020 and the foodbank is now “fighting” to keep itself afloat and continue providing this support to those in need.

Amanda Stone, COO of Bromley Borough Foodbank, said: “Donations have dropped significantly because everyone is trying to save their pennies because of the cost of living crisis.

“We may have to go back to providing support three days a week, which is really worrying.

“Having those extra days is such a help for people’s mental health, knowing they have that security for the whole week.

“Those in crisis need it.”

The foodbank has seen a sharp increase in the number of people relying on them in the past few months.

In May and June 2022, more than 1,000 people were fed by the foodbank which is nearly double the number of people fed in the same two months in 2021.

Amanda said that the foodbank has seen many people visiting recently who have never used a foodbank before, including nurses and teachers who work full-time and often are unaware of how the process works to claim benefits.

She added: “May and June are usually our quietest months because it’s warmer so people are spending less on their energy bills.

“The cost of living crisis means that’s not the case this year.

“My real fear is if it’s like this now, what’s it going to be like in winter when it’s really cold and people need to heat their homes?”

The child of a 72-year-old woman using the foodbank, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “My elderly mother recently moved to Bromley and had to use all her savings to be near family who can physically support her.

“She has been worrying about finances and cutting back on lots of things through fear of not being able to afford the new energy rises.

“She got six bags full of lots of essentials from the foodbank – toilet rolls, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, long life milk, cereal, pasta – and even some treats like chocolates.

“My mother was over the moon happy and could not be more thankful.”

Not only are Bromley Borough Foodbank calling on people to donate so they can help more people, they also want people to be aware of the kinds of food needed.

Amanda said: “Everyone loves a cup of tea when they get in from work and pasta for their dinner, so we always have loads of that and it’s never on the wanted list.

“But we don’t get enough of other things like soup.

“People think because it’s warm no one wants soup but it’s a really important part of having a nutritious and balanced diet.”

Currently, the food bank needs tinned cold meat, long-life sponge puddings, soup, tinned vegetables, UHT milk, coffee and fruit juice.

People can sign up to an app called bank the food here where the most wanted items are constantly updated.

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