People in Cornwall are being urged to do what they can to contribute to the county’s foodbanks in the run-up to Christmas and a further anticipated increase in demand early in 2021.

The general picture across the county is that demand is increasing among adults and children alike, and new people who have never previously accessed foodbank support are coming forward all the time¹.

The foodbanks are now gearing up to help families and individuals who are most in need at Christmas.

Each is taking a different approach, according to local demand and availability, and asking for donations of specific food items and money and, in some cases, children’s Christmas presents.

Their work has become more complicated because of the need to make services Covid-secure and in many cases to arrange delivery to people who are particularly vulnerable or shielding.

Now Cornwall’s churches and foodbanks have joined forces to ask individuals to actively find out what they can do to help in their local area.

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, who is also chair of Churches Together in Cornwall, said: “Sadly, foodbanks are a lifeline for thousands of people in Cornwall.

“My colleagues in Churches Together in Cornwall and I are profoundly grateful to all those people who help, support and volunteer in foodbanks, because they are genuinely helping some of those individuals who are at most need, and at a time of crisis for them.

“The outlook this year is particularly stark, as we near Christmas and now also have to take into account the strict measures that are in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.

“Most of our foodbanks operate slightly differently from one another, and are planning tailored responses to help people as best they can for Christmas.

“Some foodbanks are putting together special Christmas food parcels, others are helping out with presents for children, some would like specific donations, while others still are requesting financial help.

“So we are urging anybody who would like to help to please find out what their local foodbank is asking for, and to offer what they can.”

The faith-based social action organisation, Transformation Cornwall, keeps an updated list of each of the foodbanks. This lists not only information about how people can access help, but also what assistance is needed.

Contact detail are included and the list can be downloaded at


Don Gardner, from CPR Foodbank based in Camborne, said: “We are getting an extraordinary and generous response from the public, but sadly it really is going to be needed.

"We’ve found more and more people coming for help, and recently that was people who had been unemployed because the furlough scheme was coming to an end.

"That has been extended now, but people have already been affected. And if people have been living on 80 per cent of their income for months and then lose their jobs and have to wait six weeks for Universal Credit to come through, you can see they are likely to struggle.

“We have already had a significant increase in the number of people coming forward to ask for help – for example we did 4,000 meals for children off on half-term.

“I can see another great increase, probably early in the new year, because people will do their best to make Christmas as good as they can – so the food banks will all need to be in a strong position for then. So please, do what you can to help.”

Emma Greenwood, the Trussell Trust’s area manager for the South West, said: “Between April and September this year, Trussell Trust food banks in Cornwall provided 8,961 emergency food parcels to people in crisis; 36 per cent of those went to children.

"Whilst this represents a significant number of people forced to turn to a food bank for support, we also know that that this is likely to only be the tip of the iceberg as many people will have been helped by other food banks and community groups.

“Volunteer groups work tirelessly across Cornwall, to distribute food generously donated by their communities to ensure that no one goes hungry. Their resolve and passion is extraordinary.

“Food banks will always work to provide vital support to local people while their help is needed, but ultimately, we should all have enough money for the basics."

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