ANDOVER Foodbank has been given a grant boost thanks to a housing association. 

Aster Group has made a £1,500 donation to support two foodbanks in Andover and Romsey through a period of high demand during the winter.

As a result of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, more people have reportedly been seeking support from food banks for the first time, putting additional pressure on an already stretched service.

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A spokesperson for Romsey Foodbank said: “Romsey Foodbank has had a very busy year in 2023. Our winter period was no exception. With the cost-of-living crisis being as difficult as it is, we provided food for 2,000 adults and children in our local community over the year. At Christmas, we also had three hamper making events that 125 families and individuals turned up to, giving out 700kg of Christmas goodies. We are based in a very generous community that donated over 25,000kg of food last year. However, we gave out 27,000kg of food so to keep up with demand we needed to purchase more stock than we’ve had to before.

“The money donated by Aster will go towards replenishing our foodbank when demand gets high as well as enabling us to put on special events like hamper making throughout the year.”

Both foodbanks are part of The Trussell Trust’s network of foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger in local communities, as well as across the UK.

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It provides emergency food for those people who have been identified as in crisis by a partner agency, such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and housing associations.

Andover and Romsey foodbanks are just two of eight foodbanks across the South and South West which received £750 from Aster Group this winter. Others receiving a donation include Frome Foodbank, Glastonbury food bank, Ringwood food bank, Devizes & District Foodbank, Weymouth Foodbank, and Portland Foodbank.

Aster Group has supported community food banks across its operating areas with donations totalling more than £19,000 in recent years.

Darren Brazil, regional operations director at Aster Group, said: “Through our continued support of Andover and Romsey foodbanks we’ve seen firsthand what a fantastic job the volunteers do for their communities, and sadly how much the need for support has increased each year.

“We hope our contribution helped the volunteers to continue to support the increasing need of those in their local communities.”

Alongside food and financial donations to foodbanks, Aster’s Financial Wellbeing team helps its customers access the right benefits and support available to them. The team empowers customers to understand their financial circumstances and manage their budgets.