Banking on bags of help for festive food stores

FESTIVE CHEER: Paula Pattinson and Suzanne Jobson of Cestria Community Housing with Tom Murray and Naomi Stevens of the Durham Food Bank. (PICTURE THREE)
FESTIVE CHEER: Paula Pattinson and Suzanne Jobson of Cestria Community Housing with Tom Murray and Naomi Stevens of the Durham Food Bank. (PICTURE THREE)
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A PLEA to give the gift of food has been made by campaigners as they prepare to help those who will struggle to feed their families over Christmas.

Cestria Community Housing Association is urging people to donate and has set itself up as a drop-off point for items to pass on to Durham Food Bank.

The Chester-le-Street-based landlord is collecting non-perishable items such as dried pasta, rice and cereals, which will be distributed in County Durham.

Suzanne Jobson, Cestria’s financial inclusion manager, said: “Durham Food Bank is a fantastic organisation. Sadly we have seen a marked increase recently in people and families in dire straits.

“Times are getting harder, the cost of living is increasing, wages are remaining stagnant and benefits are being cut, making it even harder for single people and families to put food on the table.

“The Durham Food Bank provides a vital lifeline to these families.

“I would urge people to support it if they can this Christmas and beyond.”

Naomi Stevens, of the food bank, said: “The need for food parcels continues to rise but thanks to the generosity of so many people we have been able to meet that need so far.

“Everything that is donated really does make a huge difference to local families.”

Anyone wishing to donate can leave items at The Cestria Hub, in Front Street.