Charity which helps feed people in crisis in Hastings and Rother says it is facing unprecedented demand
St Leonards based charity Surviving the Streets - Community Support is working flat out to feed people on the streets and those in financial crisis.
From its premises next to Tesco in Hollington, the charity has a fully equipped kitchen and operates a food bank that people can access 24 hours a day using a digital code.
Volunteers go out in vehicles at night to deliver hot food to people who are living on the street.
They also provide warm clothing and help people in less fortunate communities as well as isolated elderly people.
The team supports people in Hastings Bexhill, Eastbourne and Battle and is hoping to expand to Rye.
James Robinson, who co-founded the charity with his brother Peter, said it is currently dealing with unprecedented calls for help.
He said: “It is not just homeless people we are helping at the moment, those who are struggling include teachers and medical staff.
“The charity started six years ago and we have delivered more than 240,000 hot meals. That is something we are very proud of - but not the situation that makes it necessary. We would much rather see no poverty.
“At the moment we are providing 2,000 meals a week to help those in need.
“Demand really increased during the pandemic and we were getting 200 calls a day from people.
“People are living in desperately sad circumstances and it is really stressful to see that. They need support.
“ We are working seven days a week to do everything we can.”
As well as providing meals for those in need, Surviving the Streets is also helping to reduce food waste. “Practically all the food we provide, would have gone to waste otherwise,” said James.
“Asda supermarket have been very supportive and we cannot thank them enough.
“We have a great team of volunteers working every free hour to support our local communities. We are all so passionate about what we do.
“We always need more volunteers, particularly drivers to deliver the meals. Donations of food and clothing are also very welcome.”
The charity also supports local schools and adults and children’s centres.
If you need help and support you can call 01424 850219. For more information visit www.surviving the streets.uk or visit the charity’s Facebook page.
If you would like to donate, or volunteer, contact the charity. There are also donation points at Asda in St Leonards and Poundland at Ravenside, in Bexhill.
Hastings Borough Council supported the charity by providing its Churchwood House base in Hollington.
Pictures by Sid Saunders.