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IOM charity gets more than 1,300 food parcel requests

The number of Isle of Man residents in need of help with food parcels is at an “all time high,” a charity has said.

The Salvation Army said it had received more than 1,300 referrals for food parcels since the latest annual Christmas appeal started in October.

Capt Simon Clampton said: “People can get desperate at this time of year and they don’t know quite where to turn.”

The charity said the number of people requiring help from them had risen by more than 200 since last year’s appeal.

Capt Clampton, said: “Our appeals help a high percentage of the island’s population and their success relies purely on the generosity of the public, so it does emphasise that a great deal of people care deeply for their communities”.

“There has been a large rise in those needing our help this year. The numbers have reached an all time high,” he added.

“Perhaps people at the bottom end are forgotten at times but a lot of people on the island feel like they would like to help and there is a genuine feeling of empathy and sympathy for those who are less fortunate than themselves,” he said.

In 2011, the charity helped more than 1,000 people in need of food packages as well as providing 325 children with toys, all of which were donated by Manx residents.

The number has shocked some residents.

John Comish, from Douglas, said: “I am very surprised. It seems like a staggering amount of people.”

Sarah Watterson, from Onchan, said: “Bills are going up and people are just finding it harder and harder to cope.”

The Salvation Army said it expected the number of people needing help to rise as Christmas got closer.

Reported by BBC News Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

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