Cromer and District foodbank launch winter warming help in time for Christmas

Cromer Foodbank. One of the volunteers in the warehouse.

Cromer Foodbank. One of the volunteers in the warehouse. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

More than 3,000 north Norfolk residents this year have turned to a foodbank for help in a time of crisis.

The Cromer and District Foodbank has seen a minor increase in the demand for their services, but astonishingly have still managed to expand the range of help they can offer clients in need.

The foodbank now not only provides week-long care packages for individuals and families, but is also offering financial help to people struggling to pay their heating bills.

The support, offered after review with the Citizen's Advice Bureau, was piloted last year but launched fully a week ago.

Co project manager Tim Morton, said: 'We've already had about 10 people we've managed to help with this, we give £50 to families and £30 to individuals. We're really pleased that we'll be able to continue running the scheme until the whether warms up in March 2018.'

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Mr Morton added: 'This scheme has largely been funded by grants, but ever since I gave a talk at the Cromer Church we've had individuals sending us checks to donate directly to the food bank.'

Mr Morton, who runs the project alongside Miranda Hall, continued: 'From harvest time to Christmas is our busiest, both in need and donations. We've had 31,000 kg come into our warehouse this year with everything ranging from food to advent calendars, to washing powder. We also give out special Christmas bags to everyone who has a hamper at Christmas.'

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The foodbank sees most people appealing to them for last minute help after facing problems with benefits change, benefits delay, or an unforseen cost which is resulting in low income.

'Something that's been highlighted in the press and parliament has been Universal Credit, which I think is why other foodbanks around the country have seen such an increase in demand,' Mr Morton added.

'In North Norfolk we won't get that until October next year, and I'm hoping the issues with delays will have been ironed out by then. If not, we'll be ready.

'What's most important is for us to thank all the people that donate to us, whether it's food or money or volunteering. Even one carrier bag, if we get 100 people doing that we're stocked up!'

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