West Craven food bank idea to be explored

Rosemary Biggin, David Hartley, Trish Pepper and Suzanne Hawthorn who appealing for food for the new food bank for West Craven.
Rosemary Biggin, David Hartley, Trish Pepper and Suzanne Hawthorn who appealing for food for the new food bank for West Craven.

An exploratory meeting organised by West Craven church members will take place tonight to discuss the possibility of opening a food bank in the area.

Earby’s New Road Community Centre will host the meeting inviting members from all the churches in West Craven as well as the wider public.

A number of churches in Barnoldswick and Earby have had the individual idea of launching a food bank for those in need, some going back as far as four years, but it seems that now there is a collective desire for one to meet a growing need.

At one West Craven church after a Sunday service in June, a note was left on a collection plate which simply said “we need food, we haven’t eaten” while another church has handed out food twice in the last fortnight.

Suzanne Hawthorn, from the Majestic Church in Barnoldswick, said the first idea for a food bank in the town was mooted under the Hope Barlick umbrella of churches and then the Earby and District Churches Together group was approached.

She said: “Since church representatives in Barnoldswick and Earby began planning to open a food bank for those who find themselves unable to afford food for their families or themselves, at least four urgent requests for food have been made.

“A meeting will take place on Monday at 7pm at New Road Community Centre, Earby for everyone who wants to be involved in the food bank which is still very much in the early planning stages.”

In the last 18 months, the demand for food at Burnley’s food bank has soared while two have been set up in Nelson.

Food collections are also taking place in the Ribble Valley as a food bank in Clitheroe was scheduled to open this week.

Although organised by West Craven churches, Monday’s meeting is open to anybody.

And the plan is for the food bank to be run entirely by volunteers, in a variety of roles, including designing publicity, taking the food to the central storage, or giving out a food parcel and others.

Donation points would eventually be set up throughout West Craven for anyone who wishes to donate tinned or dried goods to the food bank.

Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of the Trussell Trust, which has helped set up many food banks across the country, recently said: “The sheer volume of people who are turning to food banks because they can’t afford food is a wake-up call to the nation that we cannot ignore the hunger on our doorstep.”

The charity estimates up to 650 more food banks are needed across the UK to cope with surging demand.

For further information on the plan or to volunteer, please contact Suzanne Hawthorn on 07984 368620 or email sue.hawthorn@googlemail.com.