Exeter Christian charity the Food Bank outgrows base

Image caption, The Food Bank gives out food collected from supermarket shoppers and schools

An Exeter charity which hands out food parcels to needy people is looking for bigger accommodation as demand increases.

Christian organisation the Food Bank has been based at the YMCA for the past two years, but has outgrown the space.

The number of clients facing financial difficulties has gone up 77% to a total of 360 over the past three months.

It has been offered a temporary base at The Mint Methodist Church, but needs somewhere bigger to store its food.

Food Bank co-ordinator Joy Dunne said: "The Food Bank has grown and so has the YMCA, so we have to move on.

Goods for vouchers

"We need something bigger and more permanent for the long term."

The Exeter Food Bank has fed more than 2,000 people since it started in 2008.

Its parent organisation the Trussell Trust said that as unemployment continued to rise, more people were turning to its Food Banks around the country for help.

Staff and volunteers in Exeter collect food from supermarket shoppers, school and harvest festivals and then distribute the goods for vouchers.

These vouchers are given to people classed as being unable to support themselves.

They are distributed by doctors, health workers, social workers, the Citizens' Advice Bureau and probation officers, among others.

The voucher can then be redeemed in exchange for a bag of donated food.

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