BOURNEMOUTH charity Hope for Food says it is experiencing its ‘most challenging year yet’ with rising demand and a decrease in donations.

The charity which provides food and basic essentials to people in need is run entirely by volunteers and reliant on donations from the public, as it doesn’t receive government or council funding.

Karen Gould who works for the charity described the situation as ‘desperate’.

She said: “We need a lot of help because without donations I don’t know what we will do and so many families rely on us.”

Kathy Moore from Hope for Food said: “With the cost of living crisis there are more people now who are struggling to be able to afford food and essential items because all their money is going on fuel, electricity and gas bills.

“So we’ve seen a significant increase in our referrals but at the same time we have seen a significant decrease in our donations.

“Where we were quite often getting donations of food from individual families or people, we’re not getting these anymore, so at the moment we’re just reliant on the few companies that support us or the people that support us on a regular basis but we’re probably spending about £1,000 a week on food just to be able to put the food parcels together for the people that have been referred to us.

“We’re lucky because we’ve been able to put some money in the charity bank account over the years but that money is not going to last forever and we are expecting come the winter that we’ll get even more referrals so it's a bit of a challenging time for the trustees.

“They're doing everything they can to make sure that we spend the money wisely and we get the best deals on food and we’re trying to do as much publicity as we can on social media to try and get some more people to support us.”

On Tuesday, August 9, the Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Robert Lawton, will be visiting the charity to learn more about their work.

Hope for Food is currently accepting both monetary and food donations.

For more information visit the Hope for Food Facebook page or visit