More than 28,000 food parcels were provided for families in crisis in the Eastbourne area during 2023 and residents were helped to manage over £170,000 worth of debt.

These are among the headlines of the Eastbourne Foodbank 2023 Impact Report, which was published recently. The report is an overview summary of what the foodbank has done during the year. Among the other key findings were that 159 tonnes of donated food was managed through the foodbank warehouse, and 1,280 families with serious financial problems were given support and advice by the foodbank’s welfare and debt advisers.

Those advisers also helped people in real need access more than £1million in benefits that they were entitled to during 2023. The report also highlights the fact that Eastbourne Foodbank now has 185 volunteers.

Eastbourne Foodbank’s Chief Executive, Howard Wardle MBE, said: “2023 was a very challenging year and we have again worked very hard as a team to help as many people as possible to combat the effects of poverty and help them live independent, dignified, and fulfilling lives.”

The welfare and debt advice work, which is so important to helping people back on to their feet, was beginning to yield results, Howard added, “There is, however, still a long way to go.”

“I would like to thank our volunteers, our staff team, trustees, grant funders, private donors of finance and food, churches, schools, and many local businesses, for standing with us during 2023. Their support has been invaluable.”

Jess Holliday, Eastbourne Foodbank’s Deputy Chief Executive said community support and giving continued to be vital. She said: “It’s essential for the continuation of our work that we receive regular financial donations, however small, as well as food. These enable us to keep offering the debt and welfare rights advice that help people on their journey out of poverty.”