New base for foodbank at empty town centre butchers
- Credit: Archant
A community Foodbank has relocated to a new town centre building – and it is set to continue operating during the latest lockdown.
Lowestoft Foodbank – which was formed in October 2017 with more than 4,000 people supplied with a three-day emergency food package during its first year of operating – has a new base at a former butcher’s shop in the town.
Now, and having helped thousands of people with food when they need it most over the past three years, the foodbank has moved from East Point Pavilion to the former A&S Dawson’s traditional family butchers shop in Bevan Street East.
Sam Porter, Lowestoft Foodbank operations manager, said: “We have moved and are now open in the premises three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to noon.
“At the start of the first lockdown all our Foodbank distribution centres had to close down and the council gave us the use of East Point Pavilion as a central location - which was brilliant and has been great.
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“As they now have funding to redevelop the site they have asked us to move on, which is fine.
“We are paying to rent this new premises and will be operating from here throughout the coming lockdown.
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“We can only do this with the continuing generous donations of food by the public.”
Stark figures from earlier this year showed the vital service had reported a record spike in need as huge numbers of people in food poverty were supported amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.
In April 2020 1,010 people were fed by Lowestoft Foodbank in comparison to 477 people in April 2019 as 112pc more emergency food parcels were distributed across Lowestoft, Kessingland and Saxmundham.
More than 700 people were fed in September compared to 450 the year before, showing just how important donations are at this time.
Mr Porter said: “Currently we are short of tinned vegetables, rice pudding, custard and tinned fruit – but we do have ample supplies of pasta.
“If anyone wishes to give anything Christmas related, we would love to have it but request that it gets to us by the first week of December at the latest – if not we will be feeding people mince pies well into February!”
‘A tough Christmas period’
Lowestoft Foodbank is led by Lowestoft Community Church, in conjunction with poverty charity the Trussell Trust, and is supported by Lowestoft Rising and Access Community Trust.
Sam Porter, Lowestoft Foodbank operations manager, said: “We also provide non-food items and work with the Hygiene Bank who also have collection points in supermarkets.
“They pass things to us and also need donations except for sanitary products of which they have an adequate stock.
“Over the last three to four months we have been feeding on average 800 people per month.
“So we are appealing to the public to please keep giving at the supermarket collection points because that is the easiest way of getting things to us.
“There’s going to be more and more people in difficulties and needing our help because of the lockdown, because of businesses closing and with furlough ending in December.
“It is going to be a tough Christmas period for a lot of people.”