Published:
December 11, 2014
Burnham Food Bank helps record numbers of struggling local people

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

The Highbridge and Burnham Food Bank is run by volunteers from across the area, pictured above, who are currently preparing for a busy Christmas period.

The Food Bank has seen an upsurge in the numbers of people it has helped this year, according to new figures released this week to Burnham-On-Sea.com.

Since the start of April, it has helped 215 children and 383 adults by providing 2,700 meals.

"Those are big numbers when you consider that last year's total for the whole year to April was 649, so we are only 51 people away from this figure with four months to the end of our financial year in April," said Food Bank Trustee and House Manager Alun Davies this week.

"This is a vital service that serves many struggling people in Burnham and Highbridge's community who are very grateful that we are here to help."

"Those we help are feeling the pinch and are coming to us for a variety of reasons - often benefit changes, benefit delays and debt. Some people have no income at all and are really desperate."

"Since we started, we have helped 1,451 people and provided 6,400 meals - thanks mainly to the kind donations of food from supermarket shoppers in Burnham and Highbridge," added Alun.

"Just last week we held a collection at Burnham's Tesco store and the shoppers there gave one tonne of food over three days for which we are very grateful."

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.

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. The Food Bank also provides support by directing people to other agencies to help combat long-term problems.

Alun says the group is currently gearing up for a festive rush. "We are stocking up for a busy Christmas - it's always a very busy time for us and we're always looking for more helpers. Our team of 20 will be open through the holiday period except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day."

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 on other days of the week.

 


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