New foodbank structure offering vital service to be launched
- Credit: Archant
A new structure for a service that has provided vital support and thousands of emergency food supplies to people in crisis will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
After the closure of the East Suffolk Foodbank in October – which had drop-in centres across Lowestoft and Waveney – following 'a lack of successful grant funding,' interim arrangements were put in place to ensure that foodbank services continued.
With emergency support provided through Access Community Trust, Salvation Army and the Waveney Foodbank, a longer term sustainable solution is being unveiled in conjunction with poverty charity, the Trussell Trust.
Lowestoft Community Church is working with the Trussell Trust to take on 'the management and governance of the foodbank.'
Ben Parish, Elder at the church based at The Depot on Hadenham Road, is leading on the new Lowestoft Foodbank. He said: 'We, as a church, had a meeting and concluded we would be prepared to take on the management and governance of it.
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'We are already working within the churches network and that will continue. Over the last six to eight weeks we've been pulling together a project plan, with meetings held with volunteers who were part of the previous foodbank. Moving forward, as we work with the Trussell Trust, Lowestoft Rising and other organisations, we'll be taking on the management and governance of the foodbank.'
Mr Parish added: 'We are aiming to launch in February primarily serving the Lowestoft area, following the plan of having a Monday to Friday service, available through the voucher scheme at different distribution venues.'
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Until the new foodbank structure is launched, emergency food and support will continue at Marram Green Community Centre in Kessingland and at Bridgeview drop-in Centre, Lowestoft Citadel and The Workspace in Lowestoft.
Waveney MP, Peter Aldous, said: 'Thanks to Phil Aves at Lowestoft Rising and Emma Ratzer and all at the Access Community Trust for stepping in and keeping our foodbank network operating at this crucial time.
'In early 2018 a new structure run by Lowestoft Community Church will be set up. In the meantime, please continue to support the foodbanks.'
Mr Parish is appealing for any businesses or individuals to help with warehouse storage space. Anyone who can help is asked to call the church office on 01502 537527.