Video: Delia Smith launches Stowmarket Food Bank

TV cook Delia Smith has launched a food bank at its opening ceremony event this lunchtime.

Delia cut the ribbon at the launch of the Stowmarket Food Bank at the town council offices at 1pm.

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

Delia said: “I think it is a worry that food banks are having to be set up. I do know with the whole problem with the recession and things in the world that we need to try and do our best to help our community.

“I cannot blame a Government but I sometimes wonder whether the people that make the big decisions sometimes understand their affect.

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“It’s a wonderful thing that is being created. Everyone wants to help people who are in trouble and now we can actually do something about it.

“We have to make a big thing about it, I want to support it and build up the awareness.”

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Delia, who has lived in the Stowmarket area for more than 40 years, attends the town’s Our Lady’s Catholic Church.

Mike Smith, pastor of New Life Church at Hillside Community Centre in Combs Ford is one of the organisers of the project, he said: “I think it is a great opportunity for Churches Together to have a beneficial impact on community life.

“What we hope to provide is food and to help people who are in real problems. Stowmarket Food Bank will cover Stowmarket and Needham Market and Mid Suffolk.

“We have had eight churches involved, and all of them have the red collection boxes. We are working very much with Stowmarket Town Council and local businesses - it is a community response.”

To be eligible for the food bank people have to be referred by organisations like Citizens Advice Bureau.

A van from the New Life Church can deliver the food which is only intended to be used for a few days.

The food bank needs non-perishable items like rice and tinned soup and can be donated at Hillside Community Centre, Stowmarket Town Council offices, Citizens Advice Bureau and at local churches.

Town mayor, Anne Whybrow said: “This is so needed. The town has a history of giving even when times are hard for everybody. The depth of giving over time from people and to actually get this food bank going – it’s incredible.

“People in Stowmarket care for each other – it is a community. There’s quite a need – you only have to sit in the town offices for a number of hours to see the number of people who go into the Citizens Advice Bureau. It’s people that have suddenly become unemployed and there’s no money to buy the children food.”

To find out more and to get involved with the project call 01449 774000.

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