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Food bank charity in Ipswich needs a new home

PUBLISHED: 14:33 24 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:33 24 November 2016

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas.

A charity food bank which has been providing emergency assistance, food parcels and Christmas boxes to hard-up families in Ipswich for almost 26 years has to find a new home after being asked to vacate its current headquarters.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Pictured is Maureen Reynel.Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Pictured is Maureen Reynel.

Families IN Need (FIND) has been a vital resource for thousands of people in need of support since it was set up in 1990.

It hands out food parcels every year to those deprived of a basic standard of living, all from the hard work of a dedicated team of volunteers.

But Maureen Reynel, who set up FIND, said the charity recently received news it would have to leave the building it has called home for six years after it was earmarked for development.

“We have to vacate by February 14,” she said.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Left to right, Hannah Davies and Tracey Allen.Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Left to right, Hannah Davies and Tracey Allen.

“It is a large burden to carry around that there’s no place for us to go.

“The agencies and the people from probation say it would be horrendous not to have a food bank in Ipswich.”

Ms Reynel said she was in talks with the borough council to help find the charity a new home. “We must find a home,” she said.

“If there is someone out there that has a facility that FIND can move into please let me know.”

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas.Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas.

Everyone the charity helps is referred from statutory agencies and not self-referred.

Yesterday a raft of volunteers were busy making up gift boxes to hand out to families this Christmas in addition to the thousands of food parcels.

“We start off making 1,000 and if we need more we make up more.”

A team of delivery volunteers then drive the boxes to homes around Ipswich, bringing vital supplies and a little Christmas cheer to those in need.

Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Pictured is Polly Webb.Volunteers from Families in Need (FIND) are packing the Christmas food and gift boxes ready to be delivered for Christmas. Pictured is Polly Webb.

Ms Reynal said the charity would ideally like a large space to call home so it can bring together its sorting and warehouse areas.

“We need 3,500 sq ft but if we had 5,500 sq ft we could join the sorting area with our storage area, which holds the household bits, white goods, pots and pans. We will also need parking space for volunteers and it needs to be secure.”

Anyone who may have a suitable facility should call Ms Reynal on 01473 833351.

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