DEMAND for a Kidderminster foodbank has shot up fourfold since the Covid crisis – and it’s getting worse.

The ending of the furlough scheme has seen more people across the Wyre Forest area fall into need, says the man running it.

The Wyre Forest Foodbank now expects to be making 140 deliveries a week - around four times as many as the 30 to 40 it was doing in January.

The first lockdown saw demand rocket to between 80 and 100 deliveries a week, but last week alone, that increased by 37 new clients, said Paul Guille.

Now the foodbank has launched an appeal to raise £2,500 to help meet rising demand for their special Christmas parcels.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

But it’s a race against time, as they need the pledges of support by December 8 so that they can tap into another £2,500 which Worcestershire County Council is offering on a match-fund basis.

The foodbank, based at Franche Community Centre, delivers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, thanks to the help of donations from local people, and support from the business community, including stores.

Volunteers deliver to struggling families referred to them by other agencies, so Paul says they do not know individual families’ circumstances.

But he thinks the end of the furlough scheme is hitting people, and so is the difficulty in getting benefits.

“It’s not easy to get benefits and there are many people who have never asked for benefits before who need them but don’t know how to apply for them," he said.

“We want to offer each household a very special Christmas box containing all they will need to make a wonderful traditional Christmas dinner.

"Plus we will also add chocolates, treats, toiletries, and other gift items to make ensure that our vulnerable individuals and families have a great Christmas.”

To donate, visit the online fundraising page here.