October 8, 2008

Charity Banks on City Shoppers’ Generosity

Credit crunch-hit families can get emergency food supplies from a new charity scheme.

The Lincoln Foodbank was launched outside Morrisons supermarket at the weekend, with hundreds of shoppers donating basic foods like rice, pasta, soup and fruit juice.

All the goods will be divided into food parcels tailored to give impoverished families a 'breathing space' while relevant benefits are sorted out.

Organisers the Acts Trust, an offshoot of the New Life church, say that the initiative, set up in conjunction with the Lincoln Larder, has come as a direct response to the credit crisis and the increasing number of families who have literally fallen below the breadline.

"There are more and more people in Lincoln struggling to feed their families," said Bethan Lloyd, Acts Trust communications officer.

"With debts piling up and benefits being delayed, we want to plug the gap and try to ensure that no-one is starving."

Referrals to the scheme can be made through a number of social agencies including Christians Against Poverty, Rainer Crime Concern and the NHS.

People deemed in genuine need are issued with vouchers for food hampers containing staple survival items.

Each of the hampers has tinned rice or sponge pudding, UHT milk, fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, pasta or rice, sugar, pasta sauce, baked beans, cereal, tea or coffee, tinned soup, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, biscuits, instant mashed potato and tinned meat or fish.

"This list is based on the manual written by the first Foodbank project which was set up in Salisbury," Miss Lloyd said.

"Once the scheme gets properly up and running we are also hoping to do workshops on how to make food - and the budget - stretch and to demonstrate imaginative ways to cook."

People with Foodbank vouchers will be able to collect their hampers from a specially established depot at the Bridge community centre in Newark Road, to be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Dan Turner, deputy general manager of Morrisons, said the Foodbank launch attracted great interest. "It's a cracking idea," Mr Turner said. "A lot of our customers bought a few extra items to put in the Foodbank boxes and we were pleased to help kick-start the scheme."

Anyone wishing to donate items to the Lincoln Foodbank can call Acts Trust on (01522) 526697 or e-mail [email protected],org.uk.

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