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More help needed at town's foodbank
2:00pm Friday 9th August 2013 in News
“I THINK the foodbank is brilliant for people in dire straits.”
Those are not the words of a politician or someone famous backing a charity campaign but someone living in this very town, perhaps even around the corner from you, who has called on the help of the Warrington Foodbank.
And increasing numbers are turning to the group for emergency food supplies at a time of financial crisis - and it is not necessarily those you would expect to see there.
Patricia Hall, who is the warehouse manager for the foodbank, said: “What I don’t see is David Cameron’s ‘skivers and shirkers’ I see decent people who are down on their luck. It could be me or you in their position.
“People are so mortified and ashamed to have to come to a foodbank.”
Whether they are struggling after having their benefits cut off for a variety of reasons or if an unexpected bill lands on the doorstep leaving a family without enough to feed themselves there are numerous reasons for people needing support.
Project co-ordinator John Dolan added: “Some people who work in low income jobs could get a new job but not be paid for the first month and left with no money to buy food.
“They get three meals a day for three days and they can come up to three times as we are here as an emergency food supply.”
Most have only come for help once and many return to donate goods themselves when they are no longer in a critical situation.
In July numbers swelled and before a donation drive at Asda Westbrook last weekend they had run out of essentials such as long life milk, sugar, juice and cereal among other items.
“In July we didn’t stop giving food out,” added Patricia. “We can’t let people starve in our own town. This isn’t some distant country, this is the people we live with.
“That’s what is so astonishing, these are our own people who are hungry.”
The first food parcels were handed out in December and since then the figures have steadily risen with the foodbank opening hours expanding from two to five times a week.
Those who can claim help must first pick up a voucher from one of 43 agencies - including children’s centres, churches, doctors and housing associations.
When they go along to the sessions at Friars Green Methodist Church, on Cairo Street, they will be offered the chance to talk to helpers about what needs they have and are handed a bag with essentials.
With kindhearted donations they can even give some treats such as sweet and savoury biscuits, sweets and sponge puddings and custard.
And all the food is donated by residents, churches, schools and businesses.
“People are incredibly generous because it’s a charity based in Warrington for Warrington people,” added Patricia.
Donations can be made to Warrington Foodbank at the YMCA Furniture Store at Time Square.
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