A wide range of basic produce needed to help employees working without pay and facing potential redundancy

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Food bank organisers have launched an urgent appeal for donations amid fears of major job losses at Axminster Carpets.

Many employees are already working without pay and volunteers at Canned Sunshine say they are in “extreme need” of a wide range of basic produce.

Co-ordinator Aynsley Jones said the potential for some 400 redundancies at the carpet company meant the need for crisis services like theirs was likely to dramatically rise across the region.

He told the Herald: “From January alone the food bank has seen a 60 per cent rise in our services and soon it will be at capacity.

“Many of the employees from Axminster Carpets have only now realised the impact of working without pay and the prospect of another six weeks to wait for benefit payments, if they are entitled.

“The job market across a 25 mile radius of East Devon can be a bleak prospect with no jobs available. On a daily basis the food bank have referrals from support workers, social services and East Devon District Council who no longer have access to financial assistance for families in emergency need.

“Our clients come from all walks of life and all age groups, showing that this economic crisis is not hitting just one sector of society. These crises can range from having no more savings, long term unemployment, the death of a partner, chronic illness, loss of your home, benefit deferment and debt management which has led to people being left without food and more importantly gas or electricity to cook food for their families.

“In April 2013 all crisis loans will cease and people in need will literally have their families, friends and community members to rely on. Although EDDC is working hard to establish networks with all emergency services in the area, people are living in deprivation.

“The food bank stays strong in their belief that the Axminster community will move forward as they have supported their community in the past and there has been such wonderful support for this food bank project.”

Mr Jones said Canned Sunshine urgently needed all staples for its food boxes.

l Foods required include pasta, rice, tomatoes, pulses, tea, cereals and canned vegetables. Food can be deposited at Axminster Health and Wellbeing Centre, Chard Street, Axminster, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. For more information call Mr Jones on 01297 32331.

1 comment

  • I have great sympathy for the hundreds of Carpet workers left in such a volatile situation. I think the Food Banks will also be inundated when the Benefit reduction for those deemed to be over occupying their Social Housing properties come into force in April.

    Report this comment

    Teresa Green

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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