Feeding South Tyneside
Financial assistance from South Tyneside Council is helping the Borough's three established food banks continue to help those hardest hit by the pandemic.
Since April the Council has pledged £15,000 each month to Hebburn Helps, Hospitality and Hope and the Key Project/Churches Together, with £120,000 of financial support given so far.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "It is a sad and shameful reality that food banks are a vital lifeline for so many people, especially in these difficult times.
"However, we recognise that our food banks are best placed to help those most in need in our communities and it is only right that we support them financially to help them continue their sterling work.
"I'd like to thank the volunteers who work tirelessly all year round as well as those who continue to give donations to help families who have been pushed to the brink in recent months through no fault of their own."
To further assist people facing financial crisis the Council launched a hardship fund at the start of the pandemic. Since then more than 1,900 awards have been made, providing short-term financial help towards meeting the cost of basic day to day living.
The Council also provided emergency food parcels to more than 5,000 vulnerable people who had to shield at home and had no one else to shop for them.
In addition, the Council also implemented its own supermarket scheme over the summer holidays for families who became newly eligible for free school meals but were too late to qualify for the government scheme. Emergency food vouchers were also provided over half term to some families with children on free school meals who would have otherwise struggled to put food on the table.
Councillor Smith added: "We understand only too well the devastating effects of this pandemic and recognise those who were already disadvantaged are being hit hardest. We are committed to making sure that nobody slips through the net and will continue to work with our schools and partners, and in particular our fantastic food banks, to ensure this."
For further information about food banks in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/35030/Food-banks