Residents’ help via foodbank doubles

In the new Foodbank lounge: Back (from left) - Jenny Tedbury, Audrey East, Chas Sandhu, Keith Dobney; seated - Freda Ball, Jenny Greaves and Cassie Watts. Photo:  SG260712-155TW www.spaldingtoday.co uk/buyaphoto
In the new Foodbank lounge: Back (from left) - Jenny Tedbury, Audrey East, Chas Sandhu, Keith Dobney; seated - Freda Ball, Jenny Greaves and Cassie Watts. Photo: SG260712-155TW www.spaldingtoday.co uk/buyaphoto

RESIDENTS seeking help at Spalding’s foodbank have doubled.

Rising costs and unemployment are bringing around 50 people a week through the doors in Haverfield Road.

Pastor Chas Sandhu said: “We had a very difficult month in February when we helped 100 people a week, but the number of people who come to us at the moment is still double what it was.

“People just can’t afford food and to pay for the heating. It’s a very sad sign of the times and anyone can fall into hardship.

“We see all walks of life here.”

The foodbank is run by Agape Care volunteers and, to meet rising demand, the former music room at the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church has been transformed into a new lounge, to make it more welcoming for those who seek help.

Pastor Sandhu said: “Members of the congregation helped raise £2,000 to provide a room where we can offer people a cup of tea, but also where there is an area for offering advice.

“We’ve had two settees donated to make it comfortable and we are thrilled to at last have it in use.”

One of the volunteers is a woman who has also been helped by the foodbank.

She said: “I read about it in the Free Press and was immediately drawn to it as I was going through a particularly difficult period of my life.

“It took a lot of courage to walk through that door, but I was immediately made welcome and offered a cup of tea.

“They’ve let me talk and they’ve let me cry – and eventually I found I could enjoy life again.

“Now I’m a volunteer and I get immense satisfaction from being able to help people.

“It surprised me how many are put in a bad situation through no fault of their own. To help them also helps me.”

The foodbank is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2pm. It is in urgent need of donations of basic food, such as UHT milk, cereals, pasta, tinned meat, tinned tomatoes and rice pudding.

Donations can be taken to the Lighthouse or the Agape Care food bin at Morrisons in Pinchbeck.

For more details, call 01775 719171 or email agapecare@live.co.uk