Salvation Army struggles to cope with emergency food demand
published on 17 Mar 2023
Blackpool homeless project struggles to keep up with food demand as supplies plummet
A Blackpool church homeless project has seen increased demand strip its shelves of food supplies as more people find themselves on the street struggling to afford food.
The Salvation Army, located on Raikes Parade, runs an onsite drop in for rough sleepers across the Fylde Coast, The Bridge Project, and is appealing for food donations as referrals for emergency supplies soar, whilst donations are down as more people than ever are pushed into poverty.
The church and charity is usually inundated with food donations, but this year the demand is quickly overtaking the amount of stock in reserves as it hands out emergency food parcels to the homeless members of the Fylde Coast community.
Items currently in short supply are:
- Tins of carrots, peas, potatoes
- Rice pudding
- Cans of meatballs and hot dogs
- Chopped tomatoes
- Baked beans
- Pot noodles
- Microwaveable rice
The Salvation Army also provides The Bridge Project clients with a hot and healthy meal and a drink which they make onsite out of the supplies donated.
Captain Naomi Clifton, joint church leader of The Salvation Army Blackpool said: “Sadly, we’re seeing more people come to us for help as the cost-of-living crisis deepens and the food parcels we provide are a vital source of support for those who are really struggling to make ends meet.
“There is extraordinary demand for food and our shelves are running low on supplies as donations have dipped as everyone feels the pinch. But we are here for everyone and will get food to those in need in whatever way we can. This is just one of the ways that we put our faith into action and affirm that every person is known and loved by God.”
The Salvation Army Blackpool has dual use for any food that is donated as it also provides emergency food parcels to people struggling, which include three days’ worth of food to support them through a time of crisis.
Captain Naomi continued: “From single people to couples and families and from the employed to the unemployed, retired, homeless and those on disability benefits; there is no typical template of someone who may someday require emergency food. Needing help can creep up quickly on anyone and something has gone wrong if people who are working or rely on benefits can’t even afford to put food on the table.
“We want to thank everyone who donates to us, whilst we continue to help those less fortunate living within our community which is sadly a growing number, and a very scary reality.”
For people wishing to access the emergency food parcel service, and that aren’t part of The Bridge Project, a referral is required which can be obtained through calling the church directly on 01253 626114 or one of its partner organisations including Citizens Advice, job centres, local schools, health visitors and GPs.
For anyone wishing to donate food supplies, a drop off point is located within the church and community centre, Raikes Parade.
The Salvation Army also has a Just Giving page, dedicated specifically to its work in Blackpool which can be found at www.justgiving.com/the-salvation-army-blackpool and whilst all donations are welcome people are encouraged to donate only what they can afford.
The Bridge Project operates four days a week, Monday to Friday, excluding Wednesdays, from 12:30pm, 52 weeks of the year with users having access to showering and laundry facilities, clothing support, telephones and signposting to other organisations.