More than 10,000 people have been fed by Epsom and Ewell Foodbank since it opened its doors in 2012, but a local councillor is unsurprised.

The foodbank, which has five centre in Banstead, Tadworth, Leatherhead, Epsom and Ewell, passed the milestone on April 13.

Local food poverty and need for support remains high, according to its manager Jonathan Lees, with an average of six people being fed there every day.

From December 2012: Epsom and Ewell Foodbank helps people on breadline

From November 2015: Epsom and Ewell Foodbank looking for 'new, bigger home' to meet rising need in 2016

The project is run by a team of volunteers who put in more than 200 hours each week, and was opened to support people living in food poverty, in the hope that one day the projects and help offered would no longer be needed, he said.

In addition to the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank’s five centres, the organisation has started running a variety of other projects and services to help people who need support to move out of food poverty.

In every centre, those in need have access to advice, counselling, furniture and cooking courses amongst other services.

Epsom Guardian:

Jonathan Lees (pictured above), manager at Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, said: “The Foodbank was created to support those that needed food. It’s grown and now offers so much more. It’s incredible that such a significant number of local people have been supported.

“This event is about taking a moment to reflect and recognise the impact the Foodbank has had as well as the on-going support that is still essential.”

He added: “It’s taken us 1,572 days to feed 10,000 mouths, our hope is the next 10,000 takes much longer.”

Epsom Guardian:
Foodbank volunteer, Brian Cockram

Labour councillor on Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Kate Chinn said it was unsurprising that so many people had used the service due to Conservative austerity.

“This is about working families being unable to pay their bills,” she said.

“You can’t budget when you haven’t got sufficient or regular income.”

Cllr Chinn added: “I think Jonathan is doing a marvellous job.

“They get the information about the shortages and how people can help, and they’re doing a great job.”

To acknowledge the significance of the number of mouths now fed and to raise awareness of the continued support required, Epsom and Ewell Foodbank is holding a free screening of ‘I Daniel Blake’ at Bourne Hall on Wednesday, April 26.

For more information, and for tickets, visit https://10000mouths.eventbrite.co.uk/

For more information on Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, including which items are in short supply, follow @EpsomFoodbank, or visit epsomewell.foodbank.org.uk