Wisbech food bank to help struggling families and homeless discussed at open meeting

Wisbech may have it's own Foodbank in the near future

Wisbech may have it's own Foodbank in the near future - Credit: Archant

DISCUSSIONS are ongoing for Wisbech to have it’s own food bank, which would offer short time relief to the town’s struggling families and the homeless.

Representatives from Wisbech Churches Together, community groups and social services looked into the formation of a food bank in the town at an open meeting at the Salvation Army headquarters on Wednesday.

They are looking to build on the work already being done in Wisbech by the Salvation Army, the Baptist Church, the Rosmini Centre and the Ferry Project who offer food parcels to those who are short of food.

Another meeting will be held on March 6 to further explore the issue.

Russell Day, Minister at the Salvation Army, said: “There is a need in Wisbech for it. Lots of people are in need of food. There are homeless people, families who have fallen through the social services net or whose circumstances have changed and migrant workers who do not qualify for social services support.

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“The question is what can we do to help them?

“Different churches already offer some food provision so the idea was to come together and see if we could combine our approaches to deliver a service which will help those in need.”

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In 2011-12 food banks fed 128,687 people nationwide and rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to food banks for help.

A food bank set up in King’s Lynn in partnership with The Trussell Trust in October 2011 has helped 1,300 people since its launch.

Mr Day is optimistic something concrete will materialise from the talks, but admits setting up a food bank in Wisbech will be a logistical challenge.

He said: “Everybody who was there last night recognised the genuine need and potential for a food bank in Wisbech.

“However, it took nine months for a food bank to be set up in King’s Lynn so we are fully aware there is no instant fix

“To make it happen we need premises, funding, volunteers to help us with distribution and the general public to carry on displaying generosity in donating food.

“It’s sad that this problem still exists in 2012 but it does so we can and should do something about it.”

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