Demand for Medway food aid charity has doubled

- BBC News

Demand for Medway food aid charity has doubled

The boss of a community support and food aid charity in Kent says demand has doubled in the past few months.

Second Chance Medway has a new support centre in Brompton Hill and a community hub in Chatham, where they sell discounted fresh food.

Founder Penny Keevil says they are currently supporting about 18,000 local people.

"Demand has doubled since Christmas", she said.

"Its not just low income families, its right across the board.

"We have got doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers," she told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"By the end of the month they have run out of money and they are sharing out the last tin of baked beans."

Ms Keevil says she manages her food aid scheme by "shopping wisely", dealing direct with green grocers, as well as using charitable grants and donations to buy in bulk.

She then sells it on to her clients for less than a third of supermarket prices.

Access to the facility is by appointment only.

"The reason we are a food aid service rather than a food bank is that when people know they can come to us and afford to feed their family themselves, it does wonders for their self esteem," Ms Keevil adds.

"We have 6,000 clients and behind each client is a whole family that they have to feed, so I would estimate we are helping about 18,000 people at the moment."

As well as the food aid, Second Chance Medway also has a crisis support service which helps families with advice relating to housing and benefits, mental health, and assistance getting into work or training.

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