Plea for help as stocks run low at food­bank

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - HE­LEN JOHN­SON

AFOODBANK which helps peo­ple in cri­sis is run­ning out of food.

Mid­dle­ton Cen­tral Food­bank has got so low on do­na­tions that the cen­tre has had to spend £800 over the past two months buy­ing essen­tial items, so peo­ple don’t go with­out.

This is the first time that the food­bank has needed to buy in ex­tra stock in the three years it has been run­ning.

His­tor­i­cally, food do­na­tions have al­ways been greater than the amount given out in its three-day food parcels but, since the be­gin­ning of this year, de­mand for sup­port has been out­strip­ping do­na­tions.

Last year, up to March 2016, the food­bank fed 1,569 in­clud­ing 520 chil­dren.

This was a 22 per cent in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year.

Food­bank man­ager Carl Roach says this re­flects the con­tin­u­ing need of peo­ple strug­gling to feed them­selves or their fam­i­lies be­cause of fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties or changes or de­lays to their ben­e­fits.

The food­bank is hold­ing three days of com­mu­nity col­lec­tions this week to help re­plen­ish its stocks.

They will be held at Tesco Ex­tra in Mid­dle­ton, with the sup­port of staff, this Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day.

Carl said: “If you are able to help by donating in store this will be ap­pre­ci­ated and you will be help­ing us to sup­port lo­cal peo­ple and fam­i­lies who are in need. Ev­ery do­na­tion makes a dif­fer­ence and through our part­ner­ship with Tesco we will re­ceive an ex­tra 20 per cent top-up on ev­ery­thing do­nated. You do not need to be a Tesco shop­per to do­nate at the col­lec­tion point.”

The food­bank is also en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to con­sider be­com­ing lo­cal ‘foodrais­ers’ who or­gan­ise food col­lec­tions amongst friends, fam­ily or work col­leagues.

It is also plan­ning to open a new type of com­mu­nity food pantry which will be a mem­ber­ship pro­ject al­low­ing peo­ple to ac­cess dis­counted food sup­plies to help them man­age their fi­nances bet­ter.

The Mid­dle­ton cen­tral food­bank is open on a Mon­day and Thurs­day be­tween 11am to 1pm at the Light­house Pro­ject and can be ac­cessed through lo­cal re­fer­ral or­gan­i­sa­tions who is­sue food vouch­ers af­ter as­sess­ing peo­ple’s cir­cum­stances and needs.

Vol­un­teers are also needed to man the col­lec­tion points.

Con­tact info@mid­dle­ton­cen­tral.food­bank.org. uk to help.

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