ELDERLY people struggling to feed themselves are suffering in silence rather than asking for help.
As part of this year’s Christmas appeal the Acts of Kindness Charity, which runs Redditch Food Bank, is urging people to encourage those facing tough times to seek support as well as donate food items.
Since being founded in September 2013, Redditch Food Bank has helped 2,085 people with 586 of them children, from all parts of the borough with 19.4 tonnes of food given out in total.
But less than one per cent of those helped are over 65 despite evidence suggesting there are many elderly residents finding their income squeezed.
Rev Robin Baker, chairman of Redditch Food Bank, told the Standard: “Of the people we have helped we know there are many more out there, particularly over 65, who are struggling but won’t ask for help.
“It’s not something that’s quantifiable but we know they are out there, I meet them on a regular basis and I see the need.
“What I would say to those people is don’t struggle this Christmas ask for help that’s what we are here for and if you know someone is struggling then let us know because we may be able to help them.”
The food bank provides emergency food to people in times of crisis which lasts for three days. The majority of people only use the food bank once.
Residents are once again being urged to donate food items to help feed those in need over the festive period and beyond.
During the recent harvest festival period schools and churches donated almost 2.3 tonnes of food and over 12 months £23,000 has been donated to support the cause.
Rev Baker added: “Thank you to everyone who has been so generous, we really do value and appreciate it, and ask if you can afford to be generous again to please do so. The support we have had shows to me there are people in this town that really do care.”
Items can be donated at St Stephen’s Church in the town centre between 10am and 2pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10am and 1pm on Fridays. A special collection is also being held for Redditch Food Bank on Thursday, November 27 and Saturday, November 29.