COUNCIL staff and members have donated thousands of festive treats to foodbanks across County Durham to help people in need this Christmas.
For the third year running, employees and councillors from Durham County Council donated throughout November to the appeal which asks them to buy an extra item with their regular grocery shop.
Donations were then dropped into all the council’s main buildings and used by the foodbanks to create special Christmas hampers for local people in crisis.
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East Durham Trust is appealing to the public to help with food donations over the festive period.
The charity, which supports people living in former mining communities, launched the FEED project (Food Emergency East Durham) back in 2011 and has seen the need for the service grow each Christmas.
Last year, following the rollout of Universal Credit across the area, East Durham Trust was inundated with requests to its crisis intervention projects from individuals and families facing the Christmas period without food, gas or electricity. The festive period saw East Durham Trust distribute more than 700 food parcels - which was over four times the amount during the same period in 2017 and more than half of these parcels went to families with children.
With this figure expected to rise again this year and the food parcel service relying heavily on donations, East Durham Trust is asking local people and organisations to think about supporting the FEED project this December.
Chief Executive Malcolm Fallow said: "If anything we expect the need to grow again this Christmas so we are doing everything we can to meet that rising demand - but we need the support of local people and organisations more than ever at this time of year. It is testimony to the community spirit that still exist in East Durham that people continue to donate food to help those less fortunate than themselves."
He added: "The FEED project accepts any dried, tinned or preserved foods. We particularly need tinned meat, fish and vegetables. All in date stock is greatly appreciated."
Donations can be made directly to East Durham Trust based in Yoden Road, Peterlee or a full list of donation points across the area can be found here
East Durham Trust
T: 0191 5693511