Food for the most helpless

Agapecare Foodbank co-ordinator Irene Davies (left) with volunteers Audrey East, Jenny Collar, Sarah Tite, Ann McDonald and Keith Davies at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Agapecare Foodbank co-ordinator Irene Davies (left) with volunteers Audrey East, Jenny Collar, Sarah Tite, Ann McDonald and Keith Davies at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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There are just two weeks left until Christmas Day but for some people, the prospect of having a big family meal is no prospect at all.

Redundancy, family break-up, benefit delays and low wages resulted in more than 900,000 people turning to foodbanks for help in the UK during 2013-14, according to emergency food charity The Trussell Trust.

But while the majority of people in South Holland, the Deepings and villages south of Boston have responded magnificently to this year’s Christmas Foodbank Appeal, some have chosen to believe and even spread misinformation about how foodbanks work.

Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding, said: “Our referral partners, including South Holland Citizens Advice Bureau and South Holland District Council, work closely with individuals and families in the community who are likely to need emergency help for a variety of reasons.

“Sometimes, they deal with vulnerable people who can’t always access help available by themselves which can lead to them being without food.

“When a situation has reached crisis point, a food voucher is issued but, at the same time, our partners work to resolve the situation and help their client out of their crisis.

“A food voucher is only issued after our partners have seen relevant documents and they will contact other parties involved with their clients to make an assessment and verify their stories.

“Finally, where there is a desperate financial situation and often when a food voucher is given to people, other help is being put in place.”