volunteers at Himmah food bank hand out lunch to Nottingham's most in need

A Nottingham food bank is struggling to meet overwhelming demand this Christmas and is appealing for support.

Himmah Food Bank based in Nottingham city centre has said that this is “without a doubt our most challenging year” following the recent cuts to Universal Credit.

Organisers have said the need for food parcels and hot meals has more than quadrupled since the £20 Universal Credit temporary Covid relief has been cut.

“We have to ask ourselves why we’re in this position.”

Shoana Khan, deputy director of Himmah food bank

Before the pandemic, they distributed approximately 40-60 small food parcels per week, now they are struggling to find stock to fill the 300 needed across the city.

Shoana Khan, deputy director of Himmah, has said that a third of the people using their services however are in work but still rely heavily on their charity for the basic need for food and school supplies.

This year Himmah had promised 500 festive boxes to children and schools around Nottinghamshire but are quickly running out of stock having become “crazy busy” with the increased demand.

This weekend they collected donations from the Asda in Hyson Green but Shoana said: “This area itself is a part of Nottingham that’s struggling.

“We saw some of the families that use our services themselves making donations.

“We have to ask ourselves why we’re in this position.”

Volunteers sort food packages to distribute across Nottinghamshire

The not-for-profit organisation rely on volunteers as they base their charity operation off community cohesion and running like a family.

These principles have become crucial as the charity also helps the refugees Nottinghamshire has welcomed in recent months.

“The government often leave them with little to no means of buying clothes, food and household essentials, they rely on us,” Shoana added.

The charity are desperately appealing for both donations and volunteers to help them out as they gear up for their most challenging Christmas yet.

They would like treats such as chocolates, cheese biscuits and other festive bits for the packages they are putting together for children in the community.

If you can lend an extra pair of hands or donate some food then sign up at their website: https://www.himmah.co.uk/new-page-1