New foodbank in Kessingland
A foodbank has been launched in Kessingland to help give emergency support to residents in a time of crisis.
The project, which gives people in financial difficulties supplies to get them through the next three days - including non-perishable food items and household goods - has been running in Lowestoft for the past few years, with several collection and distribution points set up around the town centre.
But there has been nothing in surrounding areas of the town, meaning that in one extreme case a man walked approximately six miles from Kessingland to the South Lowestoft Methodist Church to pick up a food parcel - because he had no other way to get there.
Linda Hallows, development worker for East Suffolk Foodbank, said: “We started a foodbank in Lowestoft but we kept having people coming in from other areas.
“We felt this was an area we really needed to look at.”
As a result, a meeting was held between East Suffolk Foodbank, Flagship Housing and Kessingland Parish Council, where plans were made to open a foodbank distribution point at the Marram Green community facility.
A collection point - where members of the public can donate items for food parcels - has been set up Kessingland Library, before they are taken to East Suffolk Foodbank’s warehouse for sorting into parcels.
They will then be taken back to Kessingland to be handed out between 10am and 2pm on Wednesdays.
The collection point was launched during a coffee morning at Kessingland Library on Saturday (February 7), while it is expected the distribution point will be up and running by March 2015.
It will be run by volunteers, with Mrs Hallows encouraging those willing to give up some of their time to come forward. All prospective volunteers attend a training day.
Mrs Hallows said: “In areas outside town centres, people don’t have access to the bigger supermarkets for the cheaper food.
“The housing stock is older, so heating bills will be larger, and it is getting more expensive to travel.
“We are very much aware that, in those areas, living expenses that much more.”
She also said areas like Kessingland have a higher population of older people, who can be more difficult to reach.
“We struggle to reach the older people because many can be of a particular mindset that they are used to being independent and feel it is beneath their dignity to ask for help,” she said.
“Any one of us could finish up in a situation where we have a sudden crisis and need support.”
Those wishing to volunteer should contact the clerk at Kessingland Parish Council by calling 01502 744367 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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