The Trussell Trust charity warned the need for food banks will rise over the winter, with organisers saying the rise in living costs and low wages are causing huge problems across the district.
In Mansfield, 1,780 emergency food parcels – containing three or seven days' worth of supplies – were handed out by the trust between April and September – up from 1,319 during the same period in 2020; 671 of those were handed to children, compared to 511 last year – an increase of almost a third.
The figures also do not include the number of people helped by community organisations and independent food banks.
Keith Hadfield, who runs the Sherwood Forest Foodbank, said: “We are swamped with requests for help at the moment, with most people struggling after a recent job loss, or because they’re struggling with debt.
“People newly-unemployed have to wait weeks for benefits payments to be sorted, or are having to choose between heating and eating on a regular basis.
“The cost to heat our homes has gone through the roof just as the £20 Universal Credit uplift was removed, so people will have less money for food during winter – it’s a desperately sad situation.”
The foodbank, based at The Stable Centre, Church Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, is in desperate need of donations to enable families to be fed over the Christmas period.
It is are also seeking volunteers who can spare a few hours a month.
Keith said: “We really need toiletries, tinned meats and even chocolate for the children to have a treat over Christmas.
“We close for Christmas on December 23, so are in real need of donations in the next week or two, to ensure we can help those who need it.”
Donations can be dropped off at The Stable Centre on Mondays and Thursdays, from 1.30pm until 3.30pm.
Alternatively, people who shop at Tesco in Oaktree, Asda in Forest Town, Morrisons in Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse, or the Co-op in Warsop, can purchase an extra few tins and leave them in the relevant shop’s collection points.
To enquire about volunteering, email [email protected]