People are urged to donate to Foodbank

People in the Lowestoft area are being urged to help others less fortunate than themselves – by donating food.

The appeal has been issued by the Lowestoft Foodbank, which aims to provide free food parcels to families and individuals left living below the breadline due to financial pressures and other problems.

Organisers are looking for all types of tinned foods and items such as coffee, tea, biscuits, rice, pasta and sugar – and their aim is to collect up to two tonnes of food to be stored at their new warehouse.

The Lowestoft Foodbank is part of the charity Signpost Gunton, which also runs the DreamworX project for young people and the Give and Take recycle swap shop scheme. Philip Riley, manager of Signpost Gunton, said: 'As a charity we have been thinking about setting up a foodbank for a couple of years. The high levels of unemployment, difficulties and families living below the bread line inspired our thoughts.

'The need in the community for short term support for individuals and families with cash flow problems leading to little or no food on the table is not new. The need is growing though. Sadly the present financial environment is such that the foodbank's presence is even more needed than before.'

Once collected, the food will be placed in boxes and distributed locally under a voucher-based scheme that will seek to provide three days' worth of nutritionally balanced meals for each person.

Worthy recipients will be recommended by organisations such as housing trusts and GPs' surgeries, and people will be given a maximum of three vouchers.

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The foodbank will also offer advice to people who have used up their vouchers on how can receive help or support for other groups and charities. It is looking to open three distribution centres in and around Lowestoft to hand out the boxes and it also has long-term plans to widen the scheme to cover the Beccles area.

The foodbank has set up its warehouse in the centre of the town, after receiving funding from the Suffolk Foundation, the Geoffrey Watling Trust and more than �2,000 in individual donations.

To make a donation to the Lowestoft Foodbank, call Genevieve Dorning on 01502 537798 or leave items at the Gunton Baptist Church on Fridays between 9.30am and 11.30am.

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