Cupboards bare at food bank - children facing holiday hunger

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Children could go hungry this summer as the holidays start and schools cease providing free meals until September.

The warning was made by a city aid organisation which has made a desperate appeal for donations to help families feed their kids.

Today the Express is urging readers to help St Catherine’s Foodbank after volunteers found the cupboards bare amid an alarming rise in hunger caused by a cost of living crisis.

St Catherine’s centre manager Lisa Grant said families would struggle to find an extra meal a day for youngsters when schools close.

Ms Grant said: “When the holidays hit it’s a massive burden for them.

“For a lot of children that school dinner is going to be the most substantial meal that they have all day.

“In a few weeks time we are going to be super busy. But our cupboards are bare.”

Since January, St Catherine’s has provided more than 1,800 food bags and 1,000 lunches and evening meals.

But foodbank staff fear they will not be able to continue with the same service as demand outstrips the supply of donated foods.

The centre desperately needs tins of vegetables, fish tomatoes, meat, spaghetti and potatoes. Stocks of sugar, tea, coffee, UHT milk, instant mash, soups, noodles, pasta and rice were also running low.

In a message sent to companies and organisations appealing for help, volunteer coordinator Sean Fitzsimmons wrote: “The future of our food bank is very uncertain at the moment as our stocks are very, very low and the demand for food continues to rise.

“This is the first time we have truly feared that our stock will run out and that we will be unable to run the food bank and our other emergency food provision at the current levels.”

Last night, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers fans were urged to drop off tinned foods at St Catherine’s ahead of their Super League fixture at Belle Vue. People are also invited to set up collection points and organise fundraising events.

St Catherine’s can be contacted via its Facebook page www.facebook.com/stcaths or on 01924 211130.