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The food charity provides fast food to the desperate poor who can’t stand the energy to cook

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People’s Kitchen volunteers told how the number of meals served per day doubled from 150 to nearly 300 after the closure. Many people now depend on the charity to feed their families

A big queue outside the kitchen of people before it opens its doors

A food charity within the city has begun providing a takeaway service to those in need due to an alarming rise in demand.

Huge queues line up every day outside People’s Kitchen, Newcastle, in scenes reminiscent of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

food pantry And charities across the UK have warned of high demand.

But there has been a drop in donations as millions suffer from cost of living crisis.

Desperate parents wear suits after work to ask for food parcels.

Our stark picture of hunger came after Anderson, a Conservative MP, told me there was no “extensive use” of food banks in this country – and suggested people learn to cook.







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Volunteer Tim Cantlie-Jones, 61, from Newcastle
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picture:

Andy Cummins/Daily Mirror)

People’s Kitchen volunteers told how the number of meals served per day doubled from 150 to nearly 300 after the closure.

When he visited the mirror there were about 70 queues outside for ground beef and dumplings, served with a hot drink and dessert.

The impact of the pandemic, as well as a massive increase in energy costs, is making many poor families dependent on ready meals from the kitchen.

“We had a worker dressed as Morrison coming in after a shift,” said volunteer Andy Cassidy, 56, of Gateshead, who works for nothing like everyone else on the 200-man team.

“We’re seeing low-income people who just can’t survive.”

Joe Tudor, 42, who lives alone in Tyneside, began making regular visits after his parents died while he was struggling to get benefits.

He said, “I am looking for a job.” “But I get a lot of support here with food and clothes.”







Volunteer Andy Cassidy, 56
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picture:

Andy Cummins/Daily Mirror)

University of Newcastle engineering professor Colin Heron, 65, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, has received a CBE award for his work on renewable energy.

He’s been a volunteer for 12 years, and has witnessed first-hand the huge rise in demand.

He said, “During the lockdown, no one was on the streets. The council put everyone in accommodations, but restaurants and hotels were closed.

“We set up a production line, we took out food every day, and we made over 1,000 home deliveries. I kept a note of the addresses.

“We figured we could serve takeaway from here, but we had to ask them to leave immediately, because they came to see other people.

“We’ve been in two years of transforming this from a restaurant, to home delivery, to takeaway, and making sure we feed people.”







Professor Colin Heron, 65, has been a volunteer for 12 years
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picture:

Andy Cummins/Daily Mirror)

Commenting on Tory MP Anderson’s party suggesting cooking lessons for those in need, Colin added, “I know a guy in his late seventies who only uses the microwave and has figured out that heating food costs 5p for 10 minutes. People have fallen to that level.”

John McCurry, chief executive of Newcastle West End Food Bank, who appears in ‘I, Daniel Blake’ told how hard-pressed families – including 14,500 children – were helped with food parcels by their service last year.

He said: “It is increasingly difficult to deny that people are finding their income compressed due to the increasing demands.

“The thing about government assistance with the Ministry of Communications fees – most of the people we help cannot afford to buy a car.

“There are more people at risk of falling into poverty than ever before. Lee Anderson’s comments do not resonate with us.







People queue to receive their meal at People’s Kitchen in Newcastle
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picture:

Andy Cummins/Daily Mirror)

“They are very far from the reality our customers face. You need to walk a mile in people’s shoes to understand these challenges.

“He doesn’t seem to have an understanding of what’s happening to people on many levels.

These comments are far from reality. Changes to Covid support and the loss of the £20 benefit increase hit it hard.

“You don’t have a choice about payments if you use a prepaid meter, as is the case for the poor.”

for us cost of living The team of experts is here to help you through a very difficult year.

They will provide you with the latest financial news and also give you expert advice.

Whether it’s due to high energy bills, weekly store cost, or increased taxes, our team will be with you all the time.

Every Thursday at 1pm they will participate in a live event on Facebook to answer your questions and offer their advice. Visit facebook.com/dailymirror/live to watch. You can read more about A team of experts is here.

If you have a question – or would like to share your story – please email webnews@mirror.co.uk.

Revd Dean Roberts, who runs the South Wales-based charity The Parish Trust, saw queues “on the street” – including office workers in suits calling for help.

Some cry as they struggle to make ends meet. He has also seen a significant increase in the number of people ordering food parcels in his community for the first time.

He said. “We are starting to see more and more people from a broad cross-section of society coming to seek help.”

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