No let up for Cromer foodbank volunteers who face busy start to 2014

Foodbank volunteer Sue Williams collecting a donation from shopper Marilyn Holsey during a recent collection at Shernigham Tesco.  Photo: Karen Bethell Foodbank volunteer Sue Williams collecting a donation from shopper Marilyn Holsey during a recent collection at Shernigham Tesco. Photo: Karen Bethell

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
11:00 AM

Foodbank volunteers in north Norfolk are gearing up for a busy start to 2014 after a hectic festive period.

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The Cromer-based operation, which also has distribution centres in Sheringham, North Walsham, Holt and Aylsham, handed out three-day food parcels to 382 people during December - well up on the 177 last year when the local set-up was in its infancy.

During the month the bank also:

contributed food to 100 Christmas parcels distributed by the Salvation Army

provided food for 50 victims of coastal flooding

gave 40 extra festive parcels to families nominated by support officers

bought presents for seven families using donations given for the purpose

During the year it also:

issued food parcels for 2032 people

found accommodation for 12 street homeless people discovered through foodbank work

signposted scores of people to agencies for advice and support to tackle the issues behind their crises.

referred more than 100 people to a Roman Catholic charity for financial help

Trustee Malcolm Nicholas said the charity did more than just hand out food to nominated people. It also tried to tackle the issues behind people’s problems through its links with other agencies.

The included Christians Against Poverty who helped people - not just Christians - with courses on how to tackle debt and manage money.

There was not much prospect of our volunteers putting their feet up after Christmas, as the need tended to grow in the wake of Christmas spending and payday loans.

“Demand is increasing, driven by the bedroom tax, and benefits delays and changes, but we never run out of food thanks to the generosity and support of churches, schools and other donors,” said Mr Nicholas.

■Contact the Cromer and District Foodbank on 07826 376343 its website cromerdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.

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