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Food crisis in Canterbury

Staff at Salvation Army in Canterbury
Staff at Salvation Army in Canterbury

by Alex Claridge

The Salvation Army in Canterbury says more and more people suffering hardship are coming to it for food donations.

Major Chris Sands, the city centre chaplain, believes families with children now home for the summer holidays are among those adding to the demands placed on it.

The Christian organisation responded with its Red Shield Appeal by collecting outside the Marks & Spencer food hall in Sturry Road over the weekend.

Another collection is planned for Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 at Morrisons in Wincheap.

Maj Sands, who has worked in the city since 2005, said: “We are doing about five times as many food parcels as we were doing just three months ago and I can see that this trend is going to increase.

“That’s why we are holding these collections. I want people to know that the money they give us stays here. It doesn’t get sent off anywhere, it is local money and it is spent on real people in Canterbury.”

Some of those who come to the Salvation Army are families desperate for help while others are single people.

In certain cases people have been referred by independent organisations, and other times by social services.

But they are united, says Maj Sands, by the fact that they are struggling to make ends meet.

“I can only see that the pressure is going to build on them,” Maj Sands said.

“People fear they are going to have to pay more for gas and electricity bills.

“It’s amazing to think that the Salvation Army is doing what it was doing more than 100 years ago.

“That’s what we do – we give out these food parcels for nothing and we give out tea, coffee and biscuits for free.”

See www.canterburysa.org.uk or call 01227 472781 for information.

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