SIR – New Forest Basics Bank food bank would like to express our gratitude to all who have so generously donated produce and financial donations, given of their time and supported them throughout 2018.

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As the only food bank to serve the New Forest region, we form an important tie with those within the community who are, for many complex reasons, in great need of extra support. Run and managed by volunteers, it serves to ensure those in need are not left without food and basic essentials.

This year, we faced new challenges with the roll out of Universal Credit, which impacted on the number of clients requiring help. With media coverage of hardship cases associated with austerity and benefit changes, there has been an unprecedented response from the local community, in particular from harvest time right through to the run up to Christmas.

Without the generosity of donors we would not be in a position to send out emergency parcels to those in dire need across the region. This positive community spirit is what enables us to reach those who may otherwise fall through the cracks.

Although donations of non-perishable foodstuff and other household essentials form the mainstay of the supplies, it is with the addition of cash donations and standing orders that we can ensure continuity of supplies, while also giving us the ability to assist where special requirements are requested.

We are now preparing for 2019, and look forward to assisting the agencies who will be referring clients in need throughout the year to come.

Janet Blizzard,

Chairman, New Forest Basics Bank

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