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Food Bank’s First Food Collection

The first supermarket food collection to supply food for Taunton Foodbank will be held in ASDA, Creech Barrow Road on Saturday 26 May 2012 from 10am to 5pm.

Taunton Foodbank hopes to open its distribution centre at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Taunton on Friday 6 July 2012 from 12.00 noon until 2pm. The distribution centre will then be open for two hours on Mondays and Fridays each week.

Food parcels will be provided to those who are in need on the receipt of a voucher which has been issued by a front line agency.

Pam Walker, Project Manager for Taunton Foodbank said “We have continued to see a need for the Foodbank in Taunton as people continue to be made redundant, see a sudden change in their circumstances or receive unexpected bills from the winter period. Often this results in people having no money available to buy food for themselves or their families. People in need will be given a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with such as a health worker, social worker, teacher or someone else who knows there is a need”.

Pam added “We have also been supported by a local business and it has been amazing to see the generosity of people and businesses at a time of financial challenges. However these donors understand that there is a desperate need for the Foodbank”.

“There is evidence that in times of financial difficulty, like those we are currently facing, there is a rise in theft of food from shops and supermarkets or people just go hungry for several days. The Foodbank gives food for three days, which helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found”.

Andy Sharman, Scheme Co-ordinator for Somerset West Businesses Against Crime has been working with local business, churches and organisations to bring the Foodbank to Taunton as part of the “Back on TRACK” programme.

Andy said “We are pleased that one of our members, ASDA, has given Foodbank their support. We hope their involvement will lead to other businesses showing their support by allowing collections at their premises or encouraging their staff to get involved by volunteering for Foodbank. This vital service is a great initiative and we are one step closer to being able to support vulnerable people in our community”.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the team in getting the project to this phase and thank them for having the faith in what we are trying to achieve.”

Andy added “The Foodbank is a win-win situation. Businesses and local community working in partnership to provide support to individuals and families so they can meet their basic needs for a few days. In other areas this has helped to change the course of people’s lives as it helps vulnerable people at a time of need and we look forward to doing so here in Taunton”.

The Foodbank is a franchise of the Trussell Trust, a charity which runs Foodbanks throughout the country.

If you would like to be a volunteer or support Taunton Foodbank, please contact Pam Walker, the Foodbank Manager.

The work of the Trussell Trust in Salisbury has expanded since its inception in 2000 from a small food bank run from a garden shed; to its present form holding over 9 tonnes of food in its warehouse. It employs a full time Foodbank manager, 8 supported volunteers and over 100 short term volunteers running the office, warehouse and “distribution centre” providing emergency food with light refreshments. The Trust also provides the focus for the franchise of the Foodbank project UK wide. They now have a network of 79 Foodbanks and a vision for 200 by 2015. The Trussell Trust also supports a Roma community and orphanage in Bulgaria, and is supported by 4 charity shops, in their social enterprise scheme.

Monday 21 May 2012

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