Food bank opens for town

New food bank has opened at Smawthorne Community Centre
New food bank has opened at Smawthorne Community Centre

A Castleford church is helping families in need across the town by setting up a new food bank.

The food bank, based at Smawthorne Community Centre on Beancroft Road, is being run by Smawthorne Community Church, with support from other churches in the town.

It opened its doors for the first time ten weeks ago, and since then has handed out food parcels to nearly 80 people.

Linda Weeks, of the church, said the idea of opening a food bank had been discussed since March among churches in Castleford, with the community church deciding to take it on and run it.

She added: “We are mainly concentrating on families who are struggling to make ends meet.

“But we wouldn’t turn anyone away and we do give out individual parcels as well.

“When people come in we give them food for a minimum of three days, so three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners, and they are allowed up to three parcels a year.”

The food bank is working with groups like Surestart and Homestart to take referrals of families in need of help.

Linda said: “We also include luxuries as and when they come in, like jam, and each food parcel also includes toilet rolls, toothpaste and soap.”

Around 25 volunteers are helping to man the food bank, which is open at the community centre on Fridays from 6pm to 8pm, both for people to collect food parcels and for donations of food and other items.

Linda added: “The United Reform Church do regular collections for us, as do the Five Towns Church, and other churches.”

Children from the Five Towns Church will be making a donation from their harvest festival on September 29, and anyone who would like to make a donation, particularly of tinned food, or find out more can ring the centre on 01977 514477.