Families facing the dilemma of whether to eat or heat will get help after the launch of Coventry’s first fuelbank today (Thursday).
Foodbank users with pre-payment meters will get vouchers for their gas or electricity so they do not have to choose between heating and eating.
Tracey, who uses Coventry Foodbank and has had a fuel voucher, said: “This makes all the difference to me and my family, it means that I don’t have to find that extra money to put into the gas meter.”
Hugh McNeil, manager of the Coventry Foodbank, said: “We are very excited about the launch of the fuelbank in Coventry.
“Each month we meet clients who face the dilemma between heat or eating, and the fuelbank will undoubtedly make a difference to some of the most deprived families in our city.”
Meanwhile Hugh appealed for donations to the foodbank.
While there’s not a food shortage, he said: “We do need things like tinned meat, tinned fruit, uht milk, some sugar. We’re not short of food but we have shortages in some areas and we’d like to get our stock levels up.”
A massive 39% of foodbank users in Coventry are on low incomes and it takes very little to tip families over the edge, explained Hugh.
“A lot of people don’t have any reserves so when an emergency happens the first thing to go is food,” he said.
“People can find themselves needing a foodbank at any time.”
Between April 2016 and March 2017, Coventry Foodbank distributed more than 15,400 three-day emergency food supplies to local people in crisis, about 6,000 of which were given to children under the age of 16.
The Trussell Trust and energy supplier npower are behind the launch of the city’s first ever fuelbanks.
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