A vital service to put food on the table of those in desperate need will open for business in Wetherby on Tuesday.
The foodbank will give short term support to families in crisis who don’t have enough money for food.
Chairman of Wetherby Foodbank, Gail Bowen said: “We already have evidence of people from Wetherby travelling to access other foodbanks such as in Harrogate so we know there is a need.
“People in our community can fall into need just like people anywhere and in our area it is harder to be hard pressed.
“There are fewer immediate support services and sadly, the stigma of need and disadvantage is greater when all around seem affluent.”
The drive to provide the Wetherby area with its own foodbank started in January, led by the Methodist Church, and the group now have their own distribution warehouse at Thorp Arch trading estate and distribution point at Barleyfields Youth Centre.
Gail added: “Things have moved so quickly in the past few weeks and we are now ready to welcome our first clients.”
She explained that the group had been given the warehouse to use at no cost by the estate operators Rockspring and an army of volunteers recently met to get the site ready.
“We had 22 volunteers who gathered at the warehouse to clean and make it habitable,” said Gail.
“At the end of the day it was clean and spotless and there was food on the shelves.”
People who need help from the foodbank will be referred from other services by means of a voucher.
“The Wetherby and District Foodbank (WAD) aims to provide three days worth of nutritionally balanced food for an individual or family who fall on hard times and need food,” added Gail.
“This can arise as a result of many things, low wages, benefit delays, family breakdown, redundancy, unemployment, sickness, etc.”
Bins of food have now been placed around the area for donations of items such as UHT or powdered milk, sugar, soup, pasta sauces, tea bags and instant coffee.
One off and monthly donations of money are also being welcomed.
Cheques, made payable to Wetherby and District Foodbank, can be sent to: Nick Farnell, 8 Wharfe Bank, Collingham, LS22 5JP.
Gail said they had had a tremendous response to calls for help but still needed help, especially IT experts who could help to update the website.
Anyone interested should email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baptist Church Mile of Cans appeal on Saturday will also benefit the foodbank. Turn to page 5 for more on this.