Today is ‘open day’ at the Bridgwater Food Bank and Town Mayor and Westover councillor Steve Austen dropped in to see how they were doing. There are problems……
Since the rapid growth of food banks nationwide over the past few years it’s no surprise that an area like Bridgwater should have it’s own share of this growing need. For the past two years the volunteers who run Bridgwater’s foodbank, based at the Mount street Day Centre (next to the Cinema ) have struggled to maintain a permanent base. While they now think they’ve found that base the latest crisis to hit them is a shortage of food. Usage has stayed constant but donations have halved.
MAYOR URGES SUPPORT
Cllr Austen said “Food poverty across the country is a scandal in this day and age. This needs addressing and until it has been addressed foodbanks are a necessary resource which we have to support because people rely on them. “
Volunteer Mark Hollidge said “Donations have halved but demand remains the same. This is the second year of our existence and we seem to have gone off the radar a bit. However, people keep coming and so we have to provide for them. Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit us Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1pm to 3.30 or there’s baskets at Asdas, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.”
PLEASE DONATE (JUST NO MORE BAKED BEANS PLEASE)
The foodbank has one large cupboard totally full of tins of beans. So one message is ‘we’re alright for beans thankyou’ however, there is a well established list of priority items.
Milk (UHT) , Sugar (500gms), Fruit juice (long life carton), Soup, Spaghetti (tinned), Pasta sauce, Tomatoes (tinned), Cereals, Rice pudding (tinned) Tea bags, Coffee (instant), Mashed potato (packet) , Rice, Meat (tinned), Fish (tinned) Fruit (tinned) Vegetables (tinned) Jam, Biscuits or snack bars, sponge puddings (tinned)
Mark Hollidge added “If you can add one of these items to your weekly shopping it would be gratefully received by the foodbank and we will pass it on to local people that are in crisis.”
Steve Austen stressed the key message about Foodbanks “Today in Bridgwater there are families struggling to put food on the table. For people on low incomes, a sudden crisis-redundancy, benefit delay or even an unexpected bill-can mean going hungry. Every day parents skip meals to feed their children and people are forced to choose between paying the rent and eating. Bridgwater foodbank provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis.”
Bridgwater Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide foodbank network.