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High demand drains charity’s food bank

For the first time in their history, food distributors the Eliza DoLittle Society (TEDS) have found themselves unable to meet demands.

Numbers have surged on Bermuda’s food supply centres just in the past six months, executive director Margaret Ward told

The Royal Gazette.

Last year, TEDS supplied food for nearly 68,000 meals to centres ranging from Summer Haven to the Centre Against Abuse.

“The volume of demand is very high — one food centre is serving 300 people a week,” Ms Ward said. “We can’t give them all the food they need — our food bank today is empty.”

If the cupboard was bare at the charity’s headquarters in Warwick, she added, food centres around Bermuda all must be running low.

TEDS supplies ten centres a week, plus two others that operate on a more independent basis.

Many will have had to cut their services due to the current shortfall, and Ms Ward appealed for “anyone who can” to donate either food or funds.

“We’re seeing a large increase in the number of people coming to the feeding centres that we support”, she said. “We have a significant and growing need for food donations and volunteers.”

The charity has been in operation since 2002.

Ms Ward said rising unemployment had swelled the ranks of Bermuda’s hungry. TEDS estimates some 3,000 Bermudians are currently struggling to get enough food.

“There is a definite problem in Bermuda. Along with more people being unemployed, there is a growing trend of people who have jobs but are finding they cannot make ends meet.”

The increased cost of living in Bermuda was forcing people to choose between “providing enough food for themselves or their families and paying the month’s rent or utility bills”.

The charity’s premier donation event of the year is Make Hunger History, which last October brought in some 8,000 pounds of non-perishable food.

“We get a lot from that. It lasts until February, sometimes March, but from then on we depend on people to donate.”

She called for residents to hold food drives, help raise funds with their own event, or give their personal time as volunteers for TEDS.

“People don’t realise how much of an impact they can make. With feeding centres and food banks constantly running out of food, a little bit goes a long way.”

Food items most in demand are cereals, canned meats, peanut butter, mayonnaise, canned milk, canned vegetables and fruit or fruit cups. Pasta and pasta sauces, plus canned soups, are also useful donations.

Useful website: www.elizadolittle.bm

Cupboard is bare: Eliza DoLittle society executive director Margaret Ward views the empty shelves at the TEDS headquarters.(Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm)

High demand drains charity’s food bank

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