Food bank in Mirfield issues urgent appeal for donations as demand soars
A food bank in an apparently “wealthy” town has seen demand soar, making it one of the busiest in Kirklees.
The Humanity First Food Bank in Mirfield town centre put out an urgent appeal for food and cash donations last week after shelves were left depleted.
Food bank spokesman Arif Ahmad said cash donations had helped them keep deliveries going out but the need was just as great.
“We are living hand to mouth, as are the people who use our services,” said Arif.
“The last thing we want to do is ration our parcels or say we can’t help someone in need. In a way you become a victim of your own success.”
The food bank, backed by global charity Humanity First, was launched during the first lockdown last year and is based in a shop in the former Vale Cinema complex on Huddersfield Road.
“People questioned why we were setting up in Mirfield in a town where everyone is supposedly well-off but we are in the centre of Kirklees and now help people across the whole district,” said Arif.
Demand has grown throughout this year.
In January 297 food parcels were distributed with 363 in February, 552 in March, 533 in April, 547 in May and 693 in June.
“A year ago no-one would have envisaged what we are doing here,” said Arif.
“We have no paid staff – we are all volunteers – and we have a really good operation.”
With the Government announcing it will end the £20 Universal Credit top-up and with furlough due to finish in September, Arif expects more turbulence ahead.
The shop at 51A Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, WF14 8AB, is open for donations Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm and people can donate food by having supermarket deliveries sent direct to the food bank.