Hove Salvation Army asks for help as food bank use doubles

published on 23 Feb 2024

The leader of The Salvation Army in Hove is appealing for public support after she revealed use of the church and charity’s food bank has doubled.

Major Mandy Sands said she would welcome donations of non-perishable items, help from local businesses and anyone who would like to volunteer to help deal with the record demand.

She said: “There has been an increase from last September but this surge we noticed in January has caught us by surprise. This may be connected to the high cost of energy or people overspending at Christmas but there was significantly more need. It got to the point where people needed help.

Hove Food Bank
Roger Wolstencroft and Philip Hadley, volunteers at Hove Food Bank, with Major Mandy Sands

“We’ve seen people in privately rented accommodation have their rents pushed up or be threatened with eviction while we also have some clients who are on zero hours contracts and need help in the weeks they don’t have work.”

Mandy said the unpredcedented demands means that she and her team are having to revaluate how they provide the service.

She explained: “When the food bank is open, we are completely depleted by the end of the day so we have to order in extra stock. Our last three orders have been double. On average, we spend between £300 and £400 to stock our shelves each week but on the last three occasions, we have spent £500 to £600. We are being forced to look at ways of cutting costs and, if this continues, we may run out of funds sooner than anticipated.

Hove Food Bank 2
Salvation Army leaders in Hove are appealing for public support after use of their food bank doubled

“We had a good balance in our community account and received financial support during the pandemic and a grant from The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership but this is not as frequent these days. We also receive occasional local donations from organisations but they are also under financial pressure. Before this increase in demand, we were ticking over but the balance is going down.”

Donations of non-perishable items can be brought to The Salvation Army, Conway Street, Hove or left in collection baskets in Sainsbury’s on Portland Road. 

For information on how to make a financial donation, volunteering and other ways to help, call 01273 323 072.

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