Stowmarket: Delia Smith to launch food bank this week

A TOWN’s first food bank will launch this week, aiming to offer a lifeline to people in need.

The idea for the Stowmarket and District Food Bank came after the town’s Churches Together group found there was a need for it.

TV chef Delia Smith will help launch the project on Thursday, outside Stowmarket Town Council offices at 1pm.

Josephine Lea, who sits on Stowmarket Churches Together Council, said: “The churches at the moment are responding tremendously.

“All the churches in the town have boxes for food so we are really excited about it.

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“Sometimes we get very carried away about overseas charities, they are very important, but sometimes we need to look at home.

“I think it would be wrong to assume that everybody in Stowmarket, Needham Market and the surrounding areas are ok. The research that we have done – we do know that there’s a need.”

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Mrs Lea added: “The idea is not to permanently give people food.

“It’s for people who have been unexpectedly put into need – they might be waiting for benefits to kick in and they would be looked after for a few days and then some permanent solution can be made.

“They can be referred by organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“No-one in this country should be starving because we do have a good welfare system.”

The food bank’s base will be at New Life Church, at Hillside Community Centre.

The church owns a van which will be used to deliver some of the food to people in outlying areas.

Stowmarket Churches Together approached local supermarkets to see if they would be willing to put up a food list for shoppers to keep in mind.

The group will stock non-perishable foods like rice, tinned soup and tinned meat continuously, with perishable food being bought when people are referred to the food bank.

The launch event will be attended by both the Stowmarket and Needham Market mayors.

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