Published: 15:49, 14 May 2021
| Updated: 15:12, 17 May 2021
An in-demand food bank is appealing for financial donations after its rent rocketed from £10 a month to £16,000 a year.
Before now, the charity had rented a premises owned by Riverside Vineyard Church for a “peppercorn” fee of just £10 a month, using the site to store thousands of food and drink items.
But it has now signed a five-year lease on the new two-storey warehouse and will have to stump up £16,000 a year as the market rate.
The fee is more than 130 times greater than the previous rent, therefore the charity is kickstarting a fundraising appeal to help cover the first year.
Chairman Martin Ward said: “We’re pleased and relieved to have secured our long-term future at a time when our services have never seen such high demand.
“It has become clear over the past year that, even more than ever, a backstop is needed to help those who can not afford food.
“We are that backstop and it is out intention to remain so for as long as we are required.
“These are difficult times for many people and we ask the public to help us support those most in need.”
Its Raise the Rent campaign aims to cover the rental costs so that all other funds can be used to buy and deliver food.
Demand for the food bank in the past 12 months has more than trebled year-on-year, and in December it provided enough food to make more than 10,000 meals.
The economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 crisis, and the uncertainty of Brexit, are the main reasons behind the spike.
It costs more than £60,000 annually to run Canterbury Food Bank.
To donate to the Raise the Rent campaign, click here.
For more information about the food bank and its services, visit the Canterbury Food Bank website.