"It is not just those people who are receiving benefits. My husband works 50 hours a week. Everyone is struggling."

These are the words of one food bank user struggling to make ends meet.

Thousands rely on Southampton City Mission Marketplace to get by.

The scheme provides a selection of food for those who need it for just £5 a time.

We at the Daily Echo have partnered up with the charity through our new campaign, Boost the Bank, sponsored by Company Shop.

We are urging those who can to donate to Southampton City Mission's drop-off points. 

Read more - Main article continues below: 

Thousands of people rely on the charity's network of food banks, but as the cost of living crisis deepens, demand for the services has risen while donations have dropped.

The charity has a network of Basics Banks and Marketplace locations, and donations are used as needed across all projects.

The banks provide four days of emergency food for those who have been referred. 

Marketplace offers a choice of many different kinds of foods for people living within a certain postcode, for a £5 fee.

But it is not just about food. There is also a room set up for tea and coffee.

Volunteers sit around tables for a chat, and people are signposted to various bodies for the help they need.

Suzanne Hellen, 40, has choosen to use the Marketplace because she is struggling financially - despite working.

She also has fibromyalgia which makes it hard to do her food shopping.

She said: "The main way fibromyalgia affects me is fatigue. I could sleep for 24 hours.

"I struggle with carrying anything heavy. I have no appetite but being able to cook a healthy meal for my family makes a huge difference.

"You know what your family likes and you choose.

"Coming here also gives me confidence. It gives me the opportunity to talk to people. I can talk to people who struggle with the same things as I do.

"It is not just those people who are receiving benefits. My husband works 50 hours a week. I am self-employed. Everyone is struggling."

As part of our campaign, we are encouraging readers to donate, where they can, to the 14 drop-off food collection points across the city:

  • Asda, The Marlands
  • Lidl, Nursling
  • Lidl, Shirley
  • Nisa Local, Maybush
  • Little Waitrose, John Lewis
  • Sainsbury's, Bitterne
  • Sainsbury's, Hedge End
  • Sainsbury's, Lordshill
  • Sainsbury's, Portswood
  • The Co-Op, Sholing
  • Sainsbury's, Shirley
  • Natwest, Bitterne
  • The Co-Op, Archers Road
  • The Co-Op, Mayflower Halls

These are the out-of-stock items that are urgently needed:

  • Tinned cold meat (ham, spam)
  • Coffee (small jars)
  • Custard
  • Nappies size 5+
  • Noodles (packets)
  • Tinned mixed veg
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned peas
  • UHT Milk
  • Squash and drinks
  • Tinned tomatoes

For up-to-date information, visit: southamptoncitymission.co.uk/get-involved/how-to-donate and dailyecho.co.uk/boost-bank

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