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York Foodbank to hold first collection event
YORK’S new Foodbank will hold its first mass collection event next week as it prepares to ramp up the fight against poverty in the city.
The Foodbank, which will be run from the Gateway Centre in Acomb, aims to provide emergency food supplies to people in sudden and desperate need, and will be officially launched next month.
On Wednesday, October 31, a team of volunteers will be at the Acomb branch of Morrisons supermarket, asking shoppers to buy one extra item when they do their shopping to contribute to the Foodbank stocks.
Talks are being held with other supermarket chains with a view to holding similar events later.
York’s Foodbank is the latest to be launched by The Trussell Trust, which now runs 270 nationwide. Demand has soared as the economic crisis has left many people struggling to cope, and the trust expects to feed 200,000 people through its centres in 2012/13.
Caleb Ellwood, manager of the York Foodbank, which is being run in conjunction with the church umbrella organisation One Voice York, said: “Some people are surprised that there is a need for the Foodbank because York is a affluent city.
“It is in some ways, but there are a lot of people in really needy situations. A lot of people assume we are feeding the homeless, but it can be anyone – maybe someone who has had a job but loses it, or someone who is self-employed but gets injured.
“I think people can see that it’s fulfilling a basic need and it’s unacceptable in this day and age that here in York we have people in situations where they have not got food in their cupboards.”
Chris Mould, executive chairman of the Trussell Trust, said many low-income working families were “living on a knife edge” and said problems would worsen in winter as fuel costs rose.
Several York churches hope to become distribution centres if the Foodbank’s initial six-month pilot proves successful.
Graham Hutchinson, co-chair of One Voice York, said: “It is not surprising that Christians across the city have seen the Foodbank as a way of doing good at such a time as this. One Voice York is pleased to be part of this, and right behind Gateway Church, which is taking the lead on this for us.”
How it works
Recipients must be referred to the Foodbank, for example, by GPs, social workers, support groups and churches.
They will be given a voucher which entitles them to three days of supplies.
The aim is to give emergency supplies, rather than to be long-term dependancy, so people can use the Foodbank up to three times.
They will also be given food and a hot drink there and then, and advised where they can get additional support.