Clitheroe food bank: how you can help

Youngsters in the 1st Grindleton Brownie pack pose for a photo in front of Pendle Hill with their foodbank donations. (s)
Youngsters in the 1st Grindleton Brownie pack pose for a photo in front of Pendle Hill with their foodbank donations. (s)

A food bank offering emergency food to local people in crisis will open its doors in Clitheroe next month.

Initiated by Clitheroe Christians in Partnership, Clitheroe Foodbank, which will be based at Trinity Methodist Church, Wesleyan Row, Clitheroe, opens on Monday July 8th.

It was local churches that originally saw the developing need for a food bank and got an action group together.

“Local Christians gave 250 local people a week food from January to April this year. I would say this shows there’s a real need,” said Clitheroe Foodbank manager Ruth Haldane.

“Today in Clitheroe there are families struggling to put food on the table. For people on low incomes, a sudden crisis – redundancy, benefit delay or even an unexpected bill – can mean going hungry.

“Every day parents skip meals to feed their children and people are forced to choose between paying the rent and eating.

“Ninety five per cent of people who come don’t want to come – they come in because they have to. There are very few who play the system.

“Clitheroe Foodbank provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis.”

Clitheroe Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide food bank network. This helps local churches and communities to open food banks, providing emergency food to thousands of people nationwide every year.

The food bank works by members of the public donating non-perishable food, which is then sorted and packed by volunteers into emergency food boxes.

Frontline care professionals, organisations and charities give vouchers to people in crisis and these are exchanged for three days of food at the food bank.

Volunteers also take the time to listen and signpost clients to further support.

Data about the amount of people using Clitheroe Foodbank is also filtered back to the Trussell Trust, which can then use this information nationally to lobby the Government.

“We don’t want this need in 20 years time.” Ruth added.

“People at the moment are only two paydays away from being in debt.”

The food bank will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 11 am to 1-30 pm, and clients referred to it can be given three days of food up to three times in any six month period.

“The food bank is for people to use in emergencies and not for people to become dependent on. If people need more help we signpost clients to where they can find that help,” said Ruth.

More than 50 volunteers attended Clitheroe Foodbank’s recruitment drive and 32 are being trained to work in the distribution centre.

Ruth is also already in talks with local churches, schools and businesses for them to act as food collection points.

Clitheroe’s Barclays Bank is the first business to offer its building as a collection point.

While, Tesco supermarket in Clitheroe, which has recently undergone a refurbishment, has donated some of its old shelving and warehouse racking to the food bank.

At the supermarket on Friday, July 5th, and Saturday, July 6th, Clitheroe Foodbank will be asking customers to buy an extra item with their shopping that can be donated to the food bank.

Prior to this on Friday and Saturday, June 28-29th, the food bank is holding a donation drive, whereby local people, organisations and businesses can turn up at Trinity and donate a bag of food. The 1st Grindleton Brownie Pack is setting a good example and has collected three boxes.

“We’re also asking people to raise funds for the day-to-day running of the food bank as we’ve started with a zero budget,” Ruth said.

For information visit: www.clitheroe.foodbank.org.uk or to offer help or make a donation, email: info@ clitheroe.foodbank.org.uk