Stowmarket: Food bank prepares for a busy Christmas period

Volunteers behind Stowmarket Foodbank Volunteers behind Stowmarket Foodbank

Thursday, December 5, 2013
6:00 AM

Volunteers at a foodbank believe they are facing an increasing number of parents who will struggle to provide meals for their children this Christmas.

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Stowmarket Foodbank was setup little more than a year ago but has already supported more than 1,000 people.

Organiser Hazel Smith said she was expecting the food bank to provide between 50-60 parcels over the holiday season.

“It’s very busy and it is increasing again,” Mrs Smith said.

“We were doing about 30 parcels a month, now it’s more like 30-50 a month.

“We will be doing some particular food hampers for families in real crisis as they have not got anything.

“I think it will increase because of Christmas – there’s so many reasons why it will increase. I would not be surprised if it’s 50-60 parcels in the next month. It’s already started to happen this week.”

She said families were having to choose between heating their homes and providing food.

Stowmarket High and Combs Ford Primary School have both supported the cause by getting parents and students to make-up food parcels.

The food bank’s base at New Life Church, Combs Ford, is run by a band of volunteers across the year. Food stocks have to be kept high as it serves a large area between Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, going as far south as Hadleigh.

Families or single people in difficulties can be referred to the food bank by organisations such as the Mid Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau, which is based in Stowmarket.

The initiative was organised by Stowmarket Churches Together and intends to provide food for people on a short-term basis.

The project’s first birthday was marked at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts with a lunch laid-on for its supporters.

There are also food banks in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury.

For more information on the Stowmarket bank call 01449 774000.