South Leeds foodbank: Information event planned

Deacon Al with his own Olympic Torch!
Deacon Al Henry is one of the people behind the Foodbank

Cash-strapped families in South Leeds will be able to get some help this summer as living costs rise and welfare reforms begin to bite.
Churches in south Leeds are hoping a food bank will be up and running in June.

A food bank is a non-profit, charitable organisation that distributes food to those in need.

One of the people behind the project is Helen Ingleby. She said:

“This is the response of Christians across South Leeds who want to do something to help those who will be plunged into crisis by the forthcoming Welfare Reforms. As well as offering food, we will be a listening ear and hopefully be able to signpost people to where they can get further help to address their problems.

“We will collect food from the community at supermarkets, in churches and through local groups and schools.”

An information evening is planned for Tuesday, April 30th, at 7.30pm at Belle Isle Family Centre. Care professionals and anyone interested in volunteering are invited.

The group is preparing a storeroom in Middleton Methodist Church where the food will be bagged into nutritionally-balanced meals to cover three days’ emergency supply. The food bags will be distributed from Belle Isle Family Centre, at first. It is hoped to open another centre in Leeds 11 later.

Helen says a key moment came when a 59-year old lady with special needs came to her for help after her disability benefit had been refused.

Deacon Al Henry, of Midddleton Methodist Church, said the church was increasingly being contacted by people needing help to feed themselves or their families.

Only people referred to the foodbank through a voucher system will be able to obtain the food.

Care professionals, such as GPs, social services, schools and others working in the front line of poverty, will be given vouchers to issue as they come across those in need.

The foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks and is intended as a stop gap for those temporarily in need because of changes to the benefit system, bureaucratic glitches and unexpected crises.

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