May 20 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 11, 2012
A charity that hands out food parcels to people in crisis is planning three new north Norfolk bases after discovering the depth of need during its first month.
Cromer and District Foodbank will open a second distribution centre at St Joseph’s Catholic Church hall at Sheringham next month - and is negotiating about locations at Aylsham and Holt.
The news comes after the charity unearthed some heartbreaking stories while giving out three days-worth of food from its Cromer headquarters to 47 people in its first month.
All had not enough money to buy food, and had slipped through the state safety net. They included:
● A person who became homeless when their father died
● A family left in need when their home was burgled
● A single parent with a disabled child
● Three more people sleeping rough
● A young person with learning difficulties.
Tina Nicholas, from Marrams Avenue, Cromer, is one of the founders of the foodbank. She said that without the help “people would go hungry”.
She said: “Some people would return to crime, others would perhaps being forced to return to dangerous situations, like those who have fled domestic violence.
“The system makes us really angry. If someone’s circumstances change, all of their benefits stop, and they are left in crisis.”
Mrs Nicholas added: “We haven’t been surprised by the level of need in north Norfolk, as we had done our research. In fact, we are absolutely certain that the demand is going to increase as the service becomes more widely known.”
There is a foodbank base at Cromer Methodist church hall on Hall Road. The Sheringham base will open on Wednesday November 28.
Mrs Nicholas said: “We are in negotiations in Aylsham Churches Together to identify a suitable site in the town, while there has also been interest from the churches in Holt. Negotiations are at an early stage there.”
The work of the foodbank has been boosted by help from the Cromer and Sheringham St Vincent de Paul Society, which has agreed to supply rough sleepers with ready meals and drinks in self-heating packages, along with survival blankets and essential toiletries.
They are also being pointed towards help and advice from the relevant authorities.
The supplies of food at the distribution centre are being stocked up by supermarket collections and donations, including from schools, harvest festivals and churches.
Meanwhile, almost £800 in cash has been given to the charity.
Mrs Nicholas said: “We are so heartened by the support that we have received. It makes so much difference. One man told us that we were the first people who had shown him any respect for as long as he could remember.”
● Contact the foodbank on 01263 514036 or visit www.cromerdistrict.foodbank.org.uk
When their cheeriest song is one about crucifixion, you know you’ve stumbled upon a rather odd band.