First birthday for foodbank

Stowmarket Food Bank celebrated its first birthday on September 27
Stowmarket Food Bank celebrated its first birthday on September 27

Stowmarket Food Bank has celebrated its first anniversary having helped more than 350 families in need since it opened.

On Friday, the Food Bank held a special lunch at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket to mark the occasion and to thank everyone who has supported the project.

At the event, food bank organiser Mike Smith said: “A great number of people are just a week or two from needing a food bank.

“It cuts across the whole spectrum of society.

“If someone loses their job, someone in the family dies, someone is ill – then food band is here to help.”

Since the food bank was opened by Delia Smith on September 28 last year, the service has provided food parcels for 352 families, touching the lives of more than 1,000 people.

Its busiest month was August this year when 51 parcels were delivered, a staggering 1,548 kilos of food.

But the scheme, based at Hillside Community Centre, needs more food with tinned meat, tinned potatos and tinned rice pudding top of its urgent shopping list.

Mike said: “When we started food bank one year ago as Churches Together we realised there was a need in the area to provide food in a time of crisis.

“That is what food bank is for – a time of crisis.

“We are not feeding the same families every week of the year.

“We cover children, young people, familes, individuals, people in different locations and the older retired generation.

“The need for a food bank is right across the spectrum.”

Mike said one of the principles of the food bank was to make sure users didn’t feel downhearted having to ask for help.

He said: “One lady asked do we deliver the parcels in big vans with food bank written down the side because she had neighbours.

“We do it in unmarked vans so people can keep their dignity.”

If you wish to donate food or volunteer, call the office on 01449 774000, Mike Smith on 07867767916 or email office@livingit.org.uk