After Grantham Foodbank’s move to bigger premises, the Journal went to see the new site and to speak to volunteers about the difference the extra space is making to their vital work.
Whereas donations were previously crammed into a three storey terrace on St Catherine’s Road, which has been the Foodbank’s base since its launch in 2011, their new home in the former Brewers Electrical building on Greyfriars is three times the size.
Not only is this enabling them to store a greater amount of food donations, but allowing them to launch their new initiative, called Restore, providing clothing, bedding and essential household items to poverty-stricken families.
Foodbank co-ordinator and outreach worker for Harrowby Lane Methodist Church, Brian Hanbury said: “We are blessed to be in this new building where we will carry on and increase the support we are delivering to local clients at the point of crisis. At the old premises we supported over 6,874 clients, a third of those children, and we will be able to do it a lot better here.”
An increase in distribution stations means they will be able to hand out food packs to those in need more effectively, and anyone wishing to speak to the volunteers, including for financial and job advice, will be able to do so in more private rooms.
The extra space is particuarly timely having coincided with harvest donations and collections from supermarkets, and the volunteers are already finding the new site a lot more practical.
Warehouse supervisor Lindsey Southwell said: “From our point of view this is ideal. Everything is on one floor, whereas at the other place we were carrying stock up and downstairs. The parking at the front also means delivery vans can pull up and we can take it straight into the warehouse.”
As they work to set up the new site, the Foodbank is currently still distributing from St Catherine’s Road, but the plan is to be operating fully at the Greyfriars site from November 3.