“The food isn’t going to ‘scroungers’. It’s for hard-working people that have found themselves in crisis,” said Michelle Taurins, of New Hope Food Bank.
In the past few months the charity in Killamarsh has given out thousands of meal packages - and nationally the number of people depending on emergency handouts has nearly trebled in a year.
Coordinator Michelle, based at Norwood Industrial Estate, said: “There is a misapprehension that this food is just for people on benefits but we are coming across a wide spectrum of people.”
She added: “One man said if you had told me a couple of years ago I’d be accepting a food parcel I’d have laughed in your face. He’d had a job since he was 16 but suddenly found himself unemployed and on hard times.”
The food bank sends parcels to people referred to them by a number of agencies. They contain three meals a day and are sent to people in crisis for seven days.
Michelle said some of the people receiving packages had lost their jobs, suffered family bereavements, were self employed and become ill, or people who had had their benefits stopped.”
She said: “This is needed and it’s only going to increase.
“It’s criminal in this day and age that some people are not managing to buy food.”