Bury St Edmunds Foodbank distributes 532 parcels in first year

Julia Wakelam, chair of Gatehouse, Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, Ernie Broom, David Ruffley MP and Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, at the launch of the foodbank last year
Julia Wakelam, chair of Gatehouse, Cllr Mark Ereira-Guyer, Ernie Broom, David Ruffley MP and Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, at the launch of the foodbank last year
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The Bury St Edmunds Foodbank has distributed 532 parcels in its first year with one third going to families with young children.

The service, which is operated by the Gatehouse charity and relies on donated products, also distributed 37 per cent of its parcels to those aged under 25 and 36 per cent to 25 to 40-year-olds.

Just 0.5 per cent were requested by people aged over 65 and 21 per cent went to residents in villages outside Bury.

Less than five per cent of people required more than one but less than four parcels over the year.

Only three people required more than three parcels.

The majority of referrals came from Social Services, Probation and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, said: “I would like to thank all the generous people in Bury and the surrounding villages that have supported us with food and cash donations - also all the volunteers that have made this foodbank successful.

“It has been a very busy year while we find our feet and I feel we now have a very efficient service in place. With your continued support we hope to continue to meet the need in the area.”

Trolley collections will be held in Waitrose on November 21/22 and Asda on November 28/29 for the foodbank and are looking for further collection points.

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants Association, who called for the foodbank, said: “It’s good that we’ve got it as a safety net for the people in desperate trouble.”

Gatehouse is gearing up for its annual Christmas Day lunch at St Benedict’s Catholic School for those in need.

To help or for information call 01283 754967 or email info@gatehouse.org.uk

The charity also delivers 300 hampers to families during December made up of food donated by schools, churches and individuals and would welcome suitable donations at their headquarters, in Dettingen Way.