Grantham Foodbank sees more people needing help

Brian Hanbury, of Grantham Foodbank
Brian Hanbury, of Grantham Foodbank

More people in crisis are being helped by Grantham Foodbank, and the trend is set to continue, says a report.

Twenty-six tonnes of food were distributed to more than 2,300 adults and children in the area in 2016, according to latest figures.

This is an increase on the previous year, when 24.3 tonnes was distributed by the foodbank.

The statistics are revealed in the charity’s annual report, which says that although demand for its services is growing, it is in good shape and is grateful for generous donations and committed volunteers.

The charity is anxious to expand its services.

The report estimates that about 7,000 poeople are living on the edge of poverty in the area.

It says: “The ongoing changes in the benefits system and the continuing financial squeeze are likely to require the need for a foodbank during the coming years.”

The charity, which was set up in 2011, also supplies quality used clothes and houshold essentials to clients.

It also offers benefits advice and help for job-seekers.

It has been providing a limited number of clients with advice on debt handling and is looking at ways to expand this service.

Chairman The Rev Ian Worrall, minister in charge of Harrowby Lane Methodist Church says in his report: “A massive thank you to all our donors and volunteers, whose contributions make life-changing differences within our community.

“However, if we thought that after five and more years the heartbreaking well of those in need would have run dry, then we have been sorely disappointed.

“As a charity we are currently in good shape, but that doesn’t mean we don’t look ahead and wonder where the next volunteer or funds are coming from.”

About 60 volunteers currently work with the foodbank based in Greyfriars, Grantham.

Clients can collect three days of food supplies in exchange for vouchers issued in 2016 by more than 40 agencies, including GPs, health visitors and social workers.

Foodbank co-ordinator Brian Hanbury told the Journal this week: “We are already well into this year’s figures and still need help to alleviate pain in the lives of our neighbours .

“ Each client sent to us has to go through an in depth assessment with one our many front line agencies.

“The food is never treated as a handout but as a hand up. Along with the food support we have a professional advisor and a clothing project and an internet centre and thousands of blessings are released into our community. We hope this year with your help to build a free at the point of need a Community Money advice debt centre.”