Food bank helps 14 in its first fortnight

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A PROJECT set up to provide emergency food boxes to people in need in Spalding has helped nine adults and five children in its first two weeks.

Victims of domestic violence and those who have had delays with benefit payments have been among those to be helped by the Agape Care Foodbank.

The volunteer-led project was able to step in and provide a three-day emergency food box, which contained dried and tinned foods.

Project manager Paul Walker said: “When you think that is just in two weeks, it’s a lot of people.

“We were expecting a steady stream to come to us but it has just made us even more aware that the need for the food bank is out there.

“We are expecting an increase in the number of referrals coming to us and in the number of partners coming on board.

“We have a sign outside and already we have had three people who have happened to have driven past and contacted us to say they have used similar projects in other parts of the UK or would like to be part of it.”

The project is the first of its kind in the town and is being run from the Lighthouse Church in Haverfield Road.

It works on a voucher basis, with vouchers held by frontline care staff such as health visitors or care agencies. The voucher is then exchanged for the emergency food box.

Those eligible for help could include those who have been made redundant, struggling families and the elderly.

Mr Walker said: “The response has been fantastic. It’s so nice to help someone in need. We sometimes forget those on our doorstep.

“It gives you a sense of achievement and worth.”

The food bank is currently appealing for food donations and volunteers.

Supplies urgently needed to fill the emergency boxes include UHT milk, sugar, squash, soup, pasta sauces, custard, tinned tomatoes, tea and coffee, tinned meat, biscuits, baked beans, snack bars and tinned vegetables.

Spare carrier bags and plastic boxes are also needed for packing food and storing items such as tea and coffee.

A bank of volunteers are required for when the food bank is open.

It currently opens from noon-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursday but it is hoped this will increase in three to four months’ time.

Ideally, three people are need to work each shift.

Anyone willing to donate their time or food supplies should call Paul Walker on 07588 866300 or email agapecare@btinternet.com or visit www.agapecare.org.uk.