Sutton Bridge food bank could be in use by the end of the year

Rev David Oxtoby
Rev David Oxtoby

A new food bank to serve Sutton Bridge could be up and running by the end of the year.

The proposal first muted by the Rev David Oxtoby earlier this year, has been well-supported after a report revealed more than one in five children in the village are living in poverty.

Mr Oxtoby, who helped establish a food bank in his previous Stamford parish, is pleased his latest scheme is progressing well and hopes more people will now volunteer to help.

“We have secured St Matthew’s Church as our initial base,” he said.

“We have a core committee working together to make our plans a reality, and are now securing all the necessary funds to help pay for the equipment, storage and room hire.

“We have a local carpenter lined up to make some storage cupboards once permission from the Diocese has been granted and we’ve secured some money through the Elloe East Misson Fund, but we still need to explore other avenues to make sure we start from a sound financial base,” he added.

The need for a food bank in Sutton Bridge was identified back in spring when Mr Oxtoby heard as many as 40 people from the village travelled to Spalding last year to use food bank vouchers.

He anticipates that figure will be double this year.

Food banks are designed to help individuals and families in crisis through the provision of emergency food supplies – in the form of ration packs to cover basic needs for up to 72 hours.

Local professional care-workers give cases of hardship a food bank voucher and refer them to their local centre, where are given food and help in finding other professionals who can assist them out of their crisis. Such facilities already exist in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton.

A draft business plan for the Sutton Bridge project anticipates the scheme will start small, creating an effective food bank within the village first before expanding to cover the rural outskirts.