October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Uttlesford’s first foodbank is set for take-off later this month – but a project manager is still needed to run it.
About 75 people including key stakeholders and interested parties met on Monday to learn more about the multi organisational-led scheme and how to register their interest to help out.
Captain Carol Baker of the Salvation Army, which is spearheading the scheme, said: “The purpose of the meeting was to introduce what we are hoping to do with the foodbank, and get a project manager and volunteers to sign up as well.
“It went really well and there was a good response for volunteers, although no project manager yet.”
The foodbank, set up on the back of increasing demand within the district, will operate from the Day Centre on Hill Street, Saffron Walden.
Waitrose and Tesco will run collection points and shoppers will donate food items. These will be taken to the depot, packaged and then distributed from the Salvation Army hall and children’s centre at Fairycroft.
People in need have to be referred to the scheme, and will receive vouchers through the website, Citizens Advice Bureau, local churches and other organisations such as Christians Against Poverty.
“We’ve been providing food parcels for over a year and within the last week we’ve had 11 people come to us for help,” explained Ms Baker.
“We’re finding that more people are coming in because of a change in the benefits systems. This project is aimed at trying to meet that need.”
Kate Robson, manager at the CAB, said the organisation had seen a rise in the number of people in difficult circumstances – for a number of reasons – and requiring food vouchers or parcels.
The CAB alone provided £1,355 in food vouchers to 92 people last year but Mrs Robson said the increasing need for food vouchers may soon outstrip the charity’s ability to find enough donations to meet demand.
“We’re finding that, for a variety of reasons, people don’t have that cushion in their finances to tie them over for a period of time. The foodbank would be a short-term solution for those people in need.
“It gives people a chance to get whatever situation they are in resolved.”
The foodbank is due to start in Saffron Walden on March 24 before being introduced in Thaxted, Stansted and Great Dunmow, and Mrs Robson added: “We are keen for this service to be available for people across the district because there are pockets where it is difficult for us to get support to residents.”
• Anyone interested in volunteering for the Uttlesford Foodbank, or for more information about the project manager role, should call Carol Baker on 01799 510798 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.