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Gloucestershire Business News

Record demand forces opening of sixth Cotswold foodbank

Increased demand for emergency food in the Cotswolds has seen national food bank charity The Trussell Trust open a centre in Stow-on-the-Wold.

The North Cotswold Foodbank, based at Stow Baptist Church, will provide vital emergency food and support to people in the area locked in poverty.

While we think of the Cotswolds as the home of wealthy residents, chocolate box style cottages and rolling hills.

But the pandemic has lifted the lid on a largely forgotten part of the region - those struggling to feed themselves.

The Trussell Trust told Punchline a record 8,464 food parcels had been delivered to families across the Cotswolds since the start of the pandemic - a 28 per cent rise on the previous year.

It added that 4,277 of these parcels went to children with a similar figures seen in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Stroud.

North Cotswold Foodbank project manager Kevin Carden said: "We have seen a significant increase in clients needing to use the food bank over the past year.

"As the coronavirus pandemic has brought financial hardship to many families in our communities, particularly those involved in the hospitality sector. 

"More people than ever are struggling to afford to feed themselves and stay warm."

The foodbank will be open on Wednesdays from 10am-noon and be the charity's sixth centre in the region, joining those in Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Campden, Bourton-on-the-Water, Winchcombe and Bishop's Cleeve.

A team of volunteers, led by Joy Dimond, have received their induction and training and are looking forward to being able to provide help to those in the Stow area who are facing poverty and hunger.

Mr Carden said: "We are delighted to welcome Joy and her team to our local Foodbank network. 

"We know that the new Stow centre will be a valuable asset to our network and help to alleviate the demand at our other centres."

Chris Bishop from Stow Rugby Club will be assisting with the Foodbank operation.

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