AS it passes its first anniversary, Grantham Foodbank is searching for new premises because of a rent hike at its current location.
Unable to afford to remain in St Catherine’s Road, the charity is looking for somewhere new in Grantham to call home.
Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury said: “The property we are renting on St Catherine’s Road has vastly increased in rent and this is eating into the longevity that is required to support the 6,000 plus local families that are living in our town well below the poverty line.
“The current cost of delivering food to each client is about £8.50 per client due to the building and running costs. As good stewards we would like to reduce this to a minimum and use funds we receive to deliver as much food as possible to our needy clients.”
Around 130 volunteers handle food items donated by generous Grantham people and businesses, and as more and more families ask for help to feed themselves and their children, the limited space at the current foodbank has also become an issue.
Volunteers can deal with just two people at any one time in the small meeting room. Last Wednesday alone they helped 35 people within two hours, demonstrating the urgent need for more space in which to operate.
Plus, by moving into larger premises, more food can be stored and the charity can launch self-worth projects.
Brian said: “We are looking for ground floor level rooms, close to the town centre with disability access so we can further work with disabled groups safely and off road parking if possible.
“We need rooms to both treat our clients with privacy and dignity but also to start running the self-worth part of the project.”
Grantham Foodbank has helped 1,100 Grantham people, more than 380 of which are children. Last week alone, volunteers helped 66 people, of which 19 were youngsters.
Brian said: “This is a massive increase. We do believe many more are falling through the cracks of the voucher system and we require more agencies that work on the frontline and at the point of crisis to become voucher holders so clients can be clearly identified and signposted.”
Voucher holders are services such as social services and local authorities. They are encouraged to point needy families in the direction of the foodbank, where they will receive three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced food.
Brian and the team are appealing for businesses willing to be sponsors to get in touch, as well as any with potential premises. To offer help, call Brian on 07816 872561.
* The foodbank story so far will be told at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church on July 6, at 7.30pm.