Thetford churches launch new Foodbank
A new Foodbank has been launched in Mid Norfolk backed by the 11 member churches of Thetford Christians Together.
Following five months of active planning, Thetford Foodbank opened its doors at the Liberty Centre on Christmas Eve providing essential food packages to those in desperate need. The shelves were well stocked with almost one tonne of food donated by Christmas shoppers at a supermarket collection the day before.
Thetford Christians Together have set up the project in answer to an appeal for help from local care agencies who were finding an increase in the number of people accessing their services and going hungry.
The project exists to support those facing financial crises brought on by incidents such as redundancy, serious illness, relationship breakdown, dependency problems and benefit delays. Ali James, Project Manager of Thetford Foodbank explains: “We’ve got to ask ourselves, if my next wage packet failed, would I be able to provide groceries for the next month?’ It’s as stark as that.”
The food packages are exchanged in return for vouchers, which are distributed by professional primary care agencies within the town.
The service has been set up to complement existing provision with wide representation from the local community and other service providers on the steering group. The Foodbank works closely with the Salvation Army which provides a food pantry service every morning from their base on Thetford’s Magdalen Street.
The next step for Thetford Foodbank is to increase the service according to need and existing provision, both within Thetford and in the neighbouring rural areas. “We’ve had a lot of interest from people further afield who are desperate as well,” says Ali James. “It is very apparent that help is needed and we will join together and provide for those needs.”
Thetford Foodbank currently opens every Saturday morning, 10.30-12 noon and Monday afternoon, 12.30-2 pm at the Liberty Centre, 5 Kelvin Place, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 3RR.email@example.com