‘There’s a lot of poverty behind the affluence’: Foodbank to open at Holt

Cromer and District Foodbank distribution centre at Holt Youth Project.
Volunteers, left to right, Mike Duncan, David Hart, Pam Connolly-Hart and Mary Duncan. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Cromer and District Foodbank distribution centre at Holt Youth Project. Volunteers, left to right, Mike Duncan, David Hart, Pam Connolly-Hart and Mary Duncan. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Steve Downes steve.downes@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
6:30 AM

Another of Norfolk’s seemingly prosperous places is to have a foodbank to hand out emergency aid to people in dire need.

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On Friday, the new facility will open at Holt - a few days after another one opened at Hunstanton, to support needy people in areas including Burnham Market.

The Holt outlet will be the 5th to be opened in just over a year by Cromer and District Foodbank, which only got off the ground in August 2012.

It has since handed out 1,600 three-day emergency parcels, which amounts to 14,400 meals, from its bases at Cromer, Sheringham, North Walsham and Aylsham.

Now the new facility is set to open at Holt Youth Project. And foodbank press officer Michael McMahon said there was a “huge need” for it.

He said: “We’ve known of the need in Holt for a long time. What you see of Holt in the centre, with expensive shops and people with money in their pockets, is only one side of the story.

“If you look at government deprivation indices, Holt figures considerably. There’s a lot of poverty behind the apparent affluence of Holt.”

Mr McMahon said the group had been trying for a while to find a suitable town location for the foodbank.

He said Holt Anglican priest Fr Howard Stoker and Methodist minister the Rev Jenny Pathmarajah had got involved and given a “firm kick-start” to the project a few months ago.

He added: “We’ve finally found a near-perfect arrangement, thanks to the generosity of Julie Alford and her team at Holt Youth Project at Old Station Way.

“They’ve given us the exclusive use of storage facilities for food and other bits and bobs - and regular access to space within the centre to greet clients and distribute food.”

Despite the recent upturn in the UK economy, Mr McMahon said things were “getting worse” for people in need.

He said: “The problems seem to be increasing. The main trigger is benefit delay, but other factors include bereavement or burglary. We also see a significant minority of homeless people.”

■ The centre will be open every Friday from 1.30pm-3pm, but people can contact the foodbank at other times on 07826 376343. See www.cromerdistrictfoodbank.org.uk

18 comments

  • Well meaning but it would be far better to give people help and support in sorting out how they manage their lives and money rather than giving a free box full of food and feeling good about it.

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    BG

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • Perhaps I qualify for this service , I've had no state benefits for over 50 years , not just delayed. And, because of punitive taxes , crippled pension , criminal business rates & having to work well into my old age feel well & truly 'burgled'.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • Keep 'em coming John.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • ill ask a question we live in the 21st century in one of the most affluent countries in the world doesn't anyone think its disgusting that we need food banks at all ?.

    Report this comment

    MrB

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • Mr B - we don't need foodbanks , we need to educate some people to budget & prioritise their spending , putting some money to one side when they have it , to better cope with such an occasion.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • I would like to see these people taught how to cook healthy and economical meals rather than just being supplied with packets and tins.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • Comments from some about "these people" and "some people" and what they should do to get out of poverty are, frankly, objectionable. I hope you never find yourselves impoverished and having to face the humilation of going through the process needed to be allowed to use a foodbank.

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

  • @ MrB - I can give you a part answer as to why people are short of money. People using food banks say they are short of cash because there is a delay in them receiving their benefits. (No change there) The other main reason is that they have had to pay back their Payday Loan. Since the majority of Payday loans are for gratuitous spending, it does tend to support the view that people would benefit from better education in managing their finances and strong advice to avoid Payday loans at all costs. But as usual the whole issue of food banks has become rather political. Labour and the BBC are making great play of the Red Cross being involved in food banks in the UK. It can`t just be a coincidence that the chairman of the Red Cross also just happens to be the executive chairman of the Labour party.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • That comment was to reply to BG...

    Report this comment

    siouxie twig

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

  • Perhaps the "affluence" should learn to live within its means ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • a nation unable to feed its own people yet another goverment borrowing and spending billions on things we dont want . Didnt vote for .and dont need. Did you vote for this . Another example of british people being put second in their own country

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • Mr B, you are wrong, people on benefits do not qualify for Payday loans. Tell us how can £10 a day cover the costs of living...food, heat, bills, unexpected events.? People who are not on benefits really do not know what it is like..

    Report this comment

    siouxie twig

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

  • Dick Turnip : "....having to work well into my old age...." . In which case John one would expect you to have more sympathy with the old , instead of which you described elderly people protesting about the closure of a post office as " looking like they had escaped from an asylum " and elderly vulnerable people who are conned by door step crooks as just " stupid " and that they deserve to be be robbed .

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • We are all in this together, except some are much further in than others.

    Report this comment

    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • each week one or two new foodbanks are opening in the uk . At the same time we have a pm called david cameron who is more concerned about relaxing the ban on foxhunting than british people going hungry

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • ha ha, put spare money aside? what spare money?

    Report this comment

    siouxie twig

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • What is in these food bank parcels? That people are returning food,because the cannot aff ord to cook(heat up) I thought it was basics ie pasta, baked beans. I live on a very low income, I make meals out of the very same food( not from food bank)( I do not qualify....) I know how much I can spend on electricity, I have one hot meal a day, Please could someone tell me what is included in food parcel

    Report this comment

    lucy

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

  • samphirelover, if you have to use a food bank it means you are poor, and so often do not have any electric to do any cooking with....

    Report this comment

    siouxie twig

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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