A FOOD BANK in Bournemouth is "desperate" for donations as the number of people in need of support triples since the start of the pandemic. 

A Bournemouth foodbank and soup kitchen is in "desperate" need of donations in the run up to Easter and beyond as they now cater for more people than ever. 

Hope For Food used to help around 50 families but ever since the pandemic hit the number of people needing support has skyrocketed.

Kathy Moore from Hope for Food said: "We are desperately in need of food. 

"Our referrals have gone up from 55 this time last year to 160 food parcels a week that we are now giving out." 

With no help from the government or local authority the charity based in West Howe Industrial Estate relies completely on the generosity of local businesses and the public. 

The two-week Easter holiday is a daunting time for many families across the region who are struggling to make ends meet. 

As parents try to navigate working from home and keeping their kids occupied it is no wonder that children require more food than when they are at school. 

Ms Moore said: "Families will notice their food bill going up whilst their children are at home and for many this will be a really worrying time.

"What we are trying to do is give out a fortnightly food parcel to help families put meals on the table while the schools are shut." 

Having completed an Easter egg drive, Hope for Food were donated more than 1,200 chocolate eggs to give to people in the region - meaning no child will go without. 

However, Ms Moore explained that the charity was "desperate for non-perishables".

The type of items Hope for Food needs: 

- pasta sauces 

- tinned vegetables and potatoes

- baked beans

- tinned tomatoes 

- tinned meat and fish 

- cereals

- porridge

- savoury biscuits

- crisps

- sweet biscuits

- sweet treats 

- juice and squash  

- household cleaning products: washing up liquid, washing detergent, cleaning sprays and bathroom bleach. 

Ms Moore also explained that it's the "nice things" and the "little extras" that families in need go without because they just can't afford these items. 

Once a month the charity also gives out toiletry parcels if they have the items available including deodorant, toilet roll, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. 

How to donate

If you have items to donate you can drop them off at the food bank at 13 Elliott Rd, West Howe Industrial Estate, Bournemouth BH11 8LZ.

You can also message Hope for Food on Facebook to get donations collected if you are shielding or have no access to transport.