A NEW foodbank has opened in Nailsworth as local demand hits an all-time high. 

The new hub, which is at Nailsworth's Arkell Centre, opened on Thursday.

It will operate  The new collection centre will operate every Thursday from 2.30pm and 4pm.

Manager Amanda Strover said: “Providing support as well as emergency food is equally important to what we do.

"So as well as distributing parcels we will have support and advice workers on hand to help people through their crisis.

"Support offered ranges from housing, debt, budgeting, education, employment and mental health.

"Between them they cover everything.

"Behind these figures, lie stories of households weathering hardship, a stark reminder of the challenges faced by many in our community.

"Our commitment remains unwavering - we stand united against hunger and do all possible to ensure that no one in our midst goes without life’s essentials.

“Part of our work is also about campaigning to end the need for foodbanks. We’re supporting the “Guarantee our Essentials” campaign run by Trussell Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.” 

Local GP and Labour’s parliamentary candidate Dr Simon Opher joined the foodbank team at the opening on Thursday. 

He said: “Every year there is a sickening increase in the need for the services that foodbanks provide.

"The demand from May to September – with over 4000 parcels distributed – is appalling.

"More than 1500 went to children.

“You can’t simply choose to go to a foodbank – you can only be referred by professionals – so the usage figures give a real picture of how bad things are for families across the district.

"Demand is spiking in Nailsworth, which is why they have had to open a new centre here."

This new centre comes as foodbank usage across the Stroud district is 'at an all time-high'. 

Figures from Stroud District Foodbank show that they provided 8,663 emergency parcels over the last year, a 77 per cent increase compared to the previous year. 

As well as being an increase on last year, the figures represent an increase of 154 per cent against pre-pandemic levels (ie 2019). 

Stroud District Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks.