Northern Devon Foodbank celebrates second birthday

Duncan Withall, Northern Devon Foodbank manager, at the new premises in Bideford. Duncan Withall, Northern Devon Foodbank manager, at the new premises in Bideford.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
9:22 AM

Charity offering emergency food parcels to those in crisis has helped more than 5,000 people since 2012.

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THE Northern Devon Foodbank celebrated its second birthday last week, having given out more than 35 tonnes of food to more than 5,000 people.

The Foodbank has recently settled into a brand new distribution centre in Pitt Lane after moving from its former home in Mill Street in May.

Since opening it has collected more than 45 tonnes of food, providing emergency food packages to those referred via agencies such as social services or doctors.

Duncan Withall, Foodbank manager in Bideford, said despite the growing number of referrals, he hoped those numbers would eventually decline.

“Essentially, our main aim is to put ourselves out of business,” he said.

“In an ideal world, we would love to see the amount of referrals decline and for there to no longer be a need for the Foodbank.

“We’ve just begun running healthy eating courses in Partnership with Torridge District Council and Learn Devon to encourage people to eat the most nutritious food with what they can afford.

“The Foodbank is not just about giving out food, we’re trying to offer so much more.”

So far this year the Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, has dished out 12,968kg of food between 1,183 adults and 545 children.

Last year Gazette readers helped to rally together donations and Christmas Treats for more than 250 families across the region as part of the Give A Gift appeal.

Ginette Berry, Foodbank volunteer, added: “We’re always in need of donations, which people can drop at Barclays Bank in Bideford or East-the-Water Tesco.”

The Foodbank is currently seeking registered charity status as well as negotiating a new premises in Barnstaple.

For more information on the Bideford Foodbank, which is based in Supreme House, Pitt Lane, contact on 07542 175785 or info@northerndevon.foodbank.org.uk.

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