Published: December 4, 2013
Burnham Food Bank helps record numbers of struggling local people

Burnham-On-Sea's Food Bank, which helps feed local people encountering severe economic hardship, is helping record numbers of struggling people.

The Highbridge and Burnham Food Bank is run by volunteers from a number of churches across the area and has seen a big upsurge in the numbers of people it helps.

One of the organisers, Reverend Andrew Biggs from Burnham Methodist Church, pictured, told "We have seen a big increase in the demand for food from people during recent weeks after a number of recent job losses."

"People are feeling the pinch and suffering with rising electricity costs and other bills. Some people who have no income have been really desperate."

The Food Bank's aim is to help people through short-term crisis by providing emergency food parcels of non perishable foods which have been donated by local supermarket shoppers and churchgoers in the Burnham area.

Rev Biggs added: "Some people who find themselves in a desperate position don't actually want to come to us due to the stigma of 'scrounging' but they shouldn't feel that way. We're here to help and to avoid any embarrassment we even supply plain boxes and bags to take away food."

However, he stressed that food is only given to people who have been identified as being in a real crisis by front-line care professionals from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Sedgemoor District Council, Children's Centres or other support services.

Food Bank volunteer Alun Davies, pictured above, says the group is gearing up for a festive rush. "We are stocking up for a busy Christmas - it's a busy time for us and we are always looking for more helpers and volunteers. We are busier than ever so please do pop along and help."

The Food Bank is based at Burnham's Methodist Church in College Street and is open on Saturdays from 10am-12pm. The service also moves around the area, including St John's Church in Highbridge on Wednesdays from 10.00am-11.30am, Hope Baptist Church in Highbridge on Thursdays from 9.30am-12.00pm and West Huntspill on Friday mornings, and the Highbridge Asda Pod on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2-4pm.

The Food Bank, supported by The Trussell Trust, also provides support by directing people to other agencies to help combat their long-term problems.


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