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Published: 08:22, 24 December 2018
| Updated: 09:17, 24 December 2018
Foodbanks across the UK are expecting their busiest Christmas yet as the Messenger lends its support to Medway’s eight centres.
Run by the Trussell Trust they are managed from a warehouse on the Medway City Estate.
For this year’s Christmas Appeal we’re calling on our readers to do whatever they can to help out, whether that be by volunteering, donating food or crucially giving money to cover the foodbank’s annual £30,000 running cost.
Across the country 159,388 three-day food packages were supplied, 65,622 to children, last December, making it 49% busier than the average month and 10% busier than the previous year.
The charity expects this month to be the busiest recorded, explaining how colder weather and resulting higher heating bills heaps pressure onto people already struggling.
The inability of benefit levels to cover essential living costs and issues with payments remain the most common reasons for referral to a foodbank.
Longer waiting times for Universal Credit payments as the system is rolled out has made matters worse.
Chief executive Emma Revie said: “Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy but the festive period is becoming increasingly stressful for people.
“Our benefits system is supposed to protect us from being swept into poverty – but what we’re seeing is people struggling to heat homes and put food on the table. That just isn’t right.”
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More by this authorEd McConnell