Concerns over lack of donations to foodbank
By Trevor Brookes - Editor
A FOODBANK in Barnard Castle has made a plea for more donations after seeing an increase in the number of people needing help but a drop in donations.
The Influence Church, which operates the scheme from its base in Galgate, made the appeal last week.
Suz Gregory, from the church, said: “The number of people we are helping has doubled – we are now up to about 20 a week – and we are having to do £150 shops just to maintain our levels of food.”
Vanessa Husband is the new co-ordinator for Influence Church’s foodbank in Barnard Castle. Influence Church’s base in nearby Richmond is faring better with plenty of people giving much needed perishable foodstuffs and other household items.
“But that’s not happening in Barnard Castle,” said Ms Husband. “We want people to know we are here and open. We need their support.”
People can leave items at the Galgate base, or at shops including Morrisons.
“If everyone just dropped off a single item into the box, it would make such a difference,” she said.
Meanwhile, The Influence Church is also promoting its Baby Bundles project. New parents can get a supply of baby essentials, from pastic baths to wipes. Ms Gregory said: “We are working with local midwifes – they refer people to us and we help them during the first three months which can be a tough time.”
But new parents do not necessarily need to be refered to the Influence Church to get help. The message is for people to pop in.
“If you need just a packet of nappies, we can get them for you,” said Ms Gregory.
Last year, the church also helped supply 55 children with school uniforms. People in the Teesdale area are asked to donate old, clean uniforms so the church can pass them on to parents who need a helping hand.
“It costs an average of £150 to £300 per child to kit them out with uniform. That’s not cheap,” said Ms Gregory. “But it’s not just uniforms we need – we collect any school items such as coats, stationary and shoes that children have outgrown.”
The Galgate base has been open from 3pm to 5pm on Fridays but these hours but will change from 4pm to 6pm from July 3. Visit www.