New food bank opens in Barnstaple

Manager David Palmer (left) with Mike Parsons (centre) Duncan Withall plus volunteers at the opening

Manager David Palmer (left) with Mike Parsons (centre) Duncan Withall plus volunteers at the opening of the new food bank in Barnstaple. - Credit: Archant

Friday morning centre in Oakleigh Road will enable Bideford Foodbank to help feed more people across North Devon.

VOLUNTEERS turned out on Friday for the official opening of a new food bank in Barnstaple.

As belts tighten and the credit crunch bites, the centre at the Salvation Army Hall in Oakleigh Road is expecting plenty of visits by ordinary working people struggling to feed their families.

It will be run by Bideford Foodbank, which has responded to demand for food requests from across North Devon since it was set up six months ago.

The Barnstaple distribution centre will be open every Friday morning from 10.30am-1.30pm, and will provide three days of emergency food to customers on presentation of food vouchers, available following referral by a variety of local agencies.

Project developer Duncan Withall of Bideford Foodbank said they needed to ensure people were supported right across North Devon: “We are getting more and more referrals from Barnstaple, so it is sensible they are looked after in Barnstaple by local people.

“Setting this up gives us the opportunity to do that without the costs of running a delivery service.

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“We provide food to people right across the community, from a young single guy to a mum with children or an elderly person having to choose between heating and eating.”

The centre was opened on Friday by Mike Parsons of Churches Together in Barnstaple, which is supporting the project.

“The bottom line is the problem is increasing and with benefit changes more and more people are falling below the poverty line and struggling to make ends meet,” he said.

The new centre is being run by volunteer manager david Palmer, who is keen to hear from anyone who would like to be a volunteer, as well as those willing to offer donations of food or money.

If you can help, call Bideford Foodbank on 07874 206438, drop into the Oakleigh Road centre on a Friday morning or email

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