Everyone has winced when they get to the check-out and seen how much food prices have risen. The cost-of-living crisis has affected everyone. But nowhere is this felt more than in the food banks were donations have dropped and need has soared. 

Glynis Blake who is chair of trustees for the food bank said: “Each week we are feeding an entire school year group of children.”

“I know that people can get charity fatigue, but people have to eat. It is constant, all the time, a fundamental right. Donating one box, six months ago is not enough.”

Thanks to harvest, the shelves of Liphook Food Bank are extremely well stocked.

Liphook Food Bank
Liphook Food Bank's shelves are well stocked thanks to harvest (Georgia Hase)

But the shelves don’t always look like this.

Liphook Food Bank gets donations from many places, including Ed’s Veg, Liphook Infant and Junior School, Old Thorns and Sainsbury’s. But Liphook Food Bank has seen a 75 per cent drop in weekly donations and an almost 60 per cent increase in demand on its services.

In 2022 Liphook Food Bank was supporting 34 family units, a total of 77 people, 32 of which were children. But now, it is helping 77 family units, a staggering 185 people, 83 of which are children – that’s a lot of mouths to feed.

The Herald spoke to a user of the food bank who wished to remain anonymous. She said: “The first time I used the food bank, it broke my heart because I used to be a donator. 

“But several years ago my personal circumstances changed. I had a breakdown and wasn’t able to work. The ladies at the food bank are absolutely fantastic. They are a lifeline for people like me who are struggling. If you feel you need the support of the food bank, you shouldn’t feel ashamed.

"Everyone needs help sometimes and the Liphook Food Bank is so welcoming and respectful. I want to thank everyone who has donated. You are not just giving a tin of beans, you are putting a meal on the table.”

Glynis said: “If you or anyone you know needs support, please come and see us. We are here to help. And if you can donate, please do. We desperately need 120 Advent calendars for Christmas.”

The food bank is currently located in front of Liphook Junior School.

Jacqueline Taylor, executive head of Liphook Infant and Junior School, said: “It is great having the food bank here as we can take people who need it straight to their door. We are also normalising it by educating the children and removing the stigma of needing to use a food bank.”

Liphook Food Bank does not require a referral, it is open for anyone who needs it Tuesdays and Fridays, 9.30am to 11.30am.

For more information on opening hours, services and how to donate food or money, click here.