Food bank to open in town

A new christian based food bank is being set up in Pontefract. Pictured are a handful of the new members and volunteers outside the Central Methodist church, Pontefract, who will help collect and distribute the food to the needy. 'p307a343
A new christian based food bank is being set up in Pontefract. Pictured are a handful of the new members and volunteers outside the Central Methodist church, Pontefract, who will help collect and distribute the food to the needy. 'p307a343
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Organisers of a new food bank being set up in Pontefract are appealing for donations and support in time for its planned launch in January.

Pontefract Food Bank will open at Central Methodist Church to offer crisis feeding to families in need, but is being supported by churches across the town.

Work has been ongoing for the last three months to set up the food bank, with food collections and fundraising to launch it.

However, the bank still needs more donations and financial support, as well as warehouse space to store food.

Frank Sheard, food bank manager, said: “The plan will be for people like district nurses, doctors, headteachers, ministers, to have vouchers they can give to people in need.

“These are people working at the sharp end, who are able to identify those who are in need.

“This is crisis feeding, not attempting to feed the generally poor in the community, it is to aid people who are in crisis.”

The food bank has joined national charity the Trussell Trust, which works with food banks across the country, and is working to obtain charitable status itself.

Through that link the food bank will be able to collect donations from supermarkets Asda and Tesco twice a year, with its first collection from Tesco due at the end of November.

The store will also accept donations for the food bank, and will give vouchers for a proportion of the value of the food collected.

Mr Sheard added: “We’ve also had fantastic support from Yorkshire Building Society, which has already had a tombola and two members of staff are doing a sponsored walk from Whitby to Scarborough, and they are really enthusiastic about supporting us.”

When the food bank opens, it will offer food parcels to feed families for three days, and people will be able to access it up to three times a year.

It will also direct people to other support, with six of the 30 volunteers lined up to help out at the food bank training with Christians Against Poverty to offer specialist support with budgeting, as well as directing people to other agencies for help, like Wakefield Council or the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Anyone who would like to offer support to the food bank can contact Mr Sheard on 01977 794384.