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Branch 'banks' on help for needy families

6th March 2018

SHOPPERS are being urged to make special ‘deposits’ at a Newcastle building society branch – to help feed needy families in the Borough.

Staff at Leek United have set up a collection point in their Ironmarket office for the Newcastle-Staffs Foodbank.

They are appealing for customers, friends and relatives to give donations of dried, packet and tinned foods, to provide direct aid for people facing crisis locally.

Jane Baker, a trustee and lead volunteer at the Foodbank, said: “We operate six centres throughout the area, and on average we get 60-80 clients a week referred to us for help.

“There can be various reasons for this; many people are on low incomes or zero hours contracts, or have had changes made to their benefits and are experiencing delays in their money coming through.

“In such circumstances, they may literally be unable to afford to eat for several days – which is where we come in.”

Clients receive help through a voucher referral system via ‘frontline agencies’ such as Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, children’s centres and health visitors, and vouchers can then be exchanged for three days’ worth of emergency food.

The Foodbank requires a steady and ongoing supply of donations to keep its central warehouse stocked up.

Added Jane: “By having the support of individuals and organisations like Leek United, it means we then have plenty ‘in the cupboard’ to give to the people who need it the most. We’re very grateful for this help.”

Donations of dried, packet and tinned goods, cartons and bottles of juice  – but NOT fresh or frozen foods, which the Foodbank is unable to store – can be made at Leek United’s Newcastle Branch at 33 Ironmarket.

Branch Manager Lisa Worth said: “All it needs is for people to drop by with a tin or a packet of something when they’re in town. We’re hoping that customers’ generosity will really come through for us, as it always does.” 

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