December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
A foodbank is to be launched in an area dubbed Chelsea-on-Sea which is home to some of the wealthiest residents in the county.
For the past few years residents in King’s Lynn who have been struggling to pay the bills have been able to apply for free food parcels of non-perishable food and essential household items, such as toilet paper and nappies.
That has meant hard-up people in areas such as Hunstanton, Burnham Market, Snettisham and Dersingham have had to travel further afield to pick up parcels to help them get through the week.
However, the new Hunstanton foodbank will organise its first collection of food in the town’s High Street between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday, where people will be encouraged to donate items that will help those with less money.
That will mean the area will have its own dedicated collections, which will be sorted and made available for people to collect from The Mustard Seed coffee shop, close to the town centre, which is run by The Way Christian Fellowship.
The area’s county and borough councillor Richard Bird, who has helped churches in the area to set up the organisation of the foodbank between them, said the project had been started because: “We know there’s a demand.”
The area is home to some of the largest houses, wealthiest residents and most upmarket hotels and restaurants in Norfolk – yet despite the wealthy outward appearance of some areas, Mr Bird suggested that the rural location could mean there are people living in poverty under the radar.
That is because to qualify for a food parcel people have to have vouchers, which they can only obtain from places like doctors’ surgeries and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB).
However, the CAB has limited opening hours and doctors’ surgeries reportedly struggle to administer the distribution of vouchers, making it more difficult for those in need of food parcels to obtain them.
“If somebody found themselves in need it is difficult to see how we would get out to them in some circumstances,” Mr Bird said.
“We have no definitive evidence but we have certainly got a strong feeling that it is needed and we are now setting up a network of people.”
He added that he hoped the presence of a foodbank in the area would in turn encourage more people to come forward. “We don’t want people to need it but we want it to be in place if and when they do.”