In less than a year, Holbeach Community Larder has grown from being an emergency foodbank to an access point for people with financial problems.
It has done this by being more than just a crisis centre for individuals and families unable to afford their next meal.
Holbeach Community Larder opened in September 2013, less than six months after the town’s vicar Rev Rosamund Seal asked for support to open a new satellite centre for Agapecare Foodbank.
In her column for the All Saints Church, Holbeach, newsletter, Mrs Seal said: “I have been a long-term supporter of the Agapecare Food Bank in Spalding and I know some of the Holbeach schools have supported them.
“The Foodbank has a satellite operating from Long Sutton’s Market House and I think it is about time we found a way of setting up another satellite in Holbeach.
“There is a serious need for the church to get back to its basic commission to be ‘good news for the poor’.
“It is what we are called to do and a local foodbank would be a good start.”
Holbeach Community Larder is open every Friday between 11am and 2pm at the Reading Rooms, Church Street, Holbeach, where food parcels are given to people referred by organisations such as Jobcentre Plus, Age UK and Citizens Advice Bureau.
There is also a Community Kitchen, open between noon and 1.30pm every Friday, where between 20 and 30 people a week are served a two-course meal
Jane Francis, administrator of Holbeach Community Larder, said: “It’s a very successful project, each week helping to support individuals and families who find themselves in financial difficulties.
“We are supported by our local community which provides us with donations that are used for meals and given to clients.
“We currently give out several food parcels a week to people who have vouchers issued by our referral partners or directly by ourselves.”
“Many of them come week after week to enjoy meeting up with their friends and making new ones.
In June, Holbeach Community Larder became a foodbank in its own right so its management committee can develop relationships directly with its referral partners and increase the services it offers.
Like the Market House, Long Sutton, the foodbank is now an access point for Lincolnshire Credit Union (LincUp) after volunteers took part in a series of training sessions given by LincUp volunteer coordinator assistant Tanja Rodziewicz.
Jane said: “The management committee agreed that the next step for Holbeach Community Larder was to offer ourselves as an access point for LincUp where those wishing to save or borrow money can do so, but using more ethical means.
“While credit unions help many people on low incomes to build their savings and access affordable loans, their services are open to everyone.”
LincUp is open every Friday at the Reading Rooms between 11am and 2pm when enquiries will be treated in confidence by a team of advisors. Volunteers who can spare three hours on a Friday, once a month, and have experience in catering, fundraising and adminsistration are still needed.
For more details about the foodbank, cafe and LincUp, call Jane on 01406 425601.