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Stowmarket: Warning over demand for new food bank over Christmas

09:00 05 December 2012

Delia Smith at the launch of the Stowmarket Foodbank at Stowmarket Town Council Offices.

Delia Smith at the launch of the Stowmarket Foodbank at Stowmarket Town Council Offices.

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THE ORGANISERS of a food bank have warned more people will be forced to ask for food parcels during the Christmas period.

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Stowmarket Food Bank was launched by TV cook Delia Smith only two months ago but has already seen a huge demand from families needing food.

Hazel Smith of New Life Family Church, based in Hillside Community Centre, which runs the food bank said: “There’s a massive need in the town definitely, no one knows when a crisis is going to hit them.

“There’s always people who have not got anybody with them at Christmas, it’s a concern but we have to meet the needs. There will be a great need over Christmas.

“Last week we had a challenge to fill a large skip with food and it was half full in a day. People are coming in and giving us stuff – we really appreciate the work.

She added: “We have had people with food parcels saying they feel like they are ‘eating like a queen’.

“It’s overwhelming, people are so pleased with the food they are given it is making such a difference to their lives.”

She said it was mainly families coming to the food bank and asking for help: “It varies from week to week, I suppose we thought it’s as much as we expected, some weeks are greater than others. I just get out and do what I need to do – deliver the food parcels.

“It’s all sorts of ages, it’s people if they are victims, people who have had things stolen, families with benefits not coming through.

“People have been very generous. If everybody does buy one item it will help to supply somebody with some food, it will help a lot of people.”

She said it was “full-time operation” and was being run by a group of 12 volunteers.

The food bank is being run by Stowmarket Churches Together and can supply food to people in the town and the surrounding areas.

Mrs Smith said the food bank had applied for council grants to help with its funding and had received several high-profile donations.

Food can be donated in the red boxes located at local churches, Stowmarket Town Council and Citizens Advice Bureau.

To find out more about the project call New Life Family Church on 01449 774000.

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