‘Hunger crisis is heartbreaking’

NDET 19-06-12 BE 4 Kris Ambler from Advice Derbyshire with David Farnsworth from Arena food bank.
NDET 19-06-12 BE 4 Kris Ambler from Advice Derbyshire with David Farnsworth from Arena food bank.

Campaigners are rallying round to combat Derbyshire’s growing hunger crisis.

Campaigners are rallying round to combat Derbyshire’s growing hunger crisis.

A new partnership will work to boost the county’s food banks – a lifeline for scores of struggling families.

The region has seen an alarming surge in the number of recession-hit families seeking help from the life-saving banks, which provide emergency parcels containing items like tinned fruit, cereal and pasta.

Kris Ambler, of campaign group Advice Derbyshire, which will lead the partnership, said: “It’s outrageous to think there are families going hungry in the 21st century.

“The partnership will play a vital role in tackling food poverty.”

The campaign – which looks set to start work next month – will aim to promote the county’s food banks and increase donations and funding.

Mr Ambler added: “We want to challenge some of the negative perceptions which stop people asking for help.

“And it’s important that families receive a wider range of support – which might include advice on benefits, debt, relationships or their health – to ensure they’re empowered to make lasting changes to their lives.”

Tokkie Haywood, who runs a food bank at the Abundant Life Christian Centre in Holmewood, welcomed the partnership.

She added: “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people coming to us desperate for help.

“It’s really heartbreaking.”

To find out more about food banks in Derbyshire, visit www.advicederbyshire.org/foodbanks.asp.