A BRIERLEY Hill based housing association has donated money to help the work of foodbanks.

The Midlands regional committee of Jephson Homes Housing Association gifted £750 to the Trussell Trust charity which runs more than 400 foodbanks nationwide.

Rose Green, chairman of the Midlands regional committee, said: “Jephson is committed to working in local communities and we hope this small donation helps in the work of the Trussell Trust.”

Jephson’s financial inclusion officer for the Midlands, Keira Lymath, makes regular referrals to borough foodbanks as part of her job, which sees her offering support and advice to tenants facing financial difficulties.

She said: “It’s not easy to ask for help when you are struggling financially. It must be even harder to say you haven’t got any food in the cupboards, and have probably missed a number of meals already. "This scenario is more common than people think, and this is why foodbanks are a vital service for people in need.”

The rising cost of living has forced many to live below the poverty line and the association says incresaing food prices plus static income and high levels of unemployment meant in 2012-13 346,992 people in crisis received three days’ emergency supplies from Trussell Trust foodbanks.

Mike Partridge, corporate partnerships manager at The Trussell Trust, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Jephson for their donation of £750 to help foodbanks stop hunger in the local community.

“Their support will prevent families from going hungry in their own homes. One in five mums are skipping meals to feed their children in the UK, and rising living costs mean more families are struggling than ever.

“Jephson’s support at this time of acute national need will make a real difference.”

Jephson staff have also been making their own contributions to the Black Country Foodbank in Halesowen.

Collection boxes in the staff room at Jephson's Narrowboat Way office are also being filled by the team with long-life foods and toiletries.

Once full, the boxes are taken to food banks where the contents are sorted and handed out to those in need.