Food for thought as recession bites

Food bank, Dan Sterndale with amount of food given to a single person for a week
Food bank, Dan Sterndale with amount of food given to a single person for a week
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HELPING those struggling to make ends meet is the High Peak Nightstop Food Bank.

Set up in response to a growing need, the once informal service is now registered and providing food parcels to those who are referred to them by various other agencies.

Food bank trustee John Wilson packing bags with food

Food bank trustee John Wilson packing bags with food

Cath Sterndale, from the charity, said: “We have seen a large increase in the number of families approaching us because at the end of the month the money just isn’t stretching.”

They help those who are in a time of crisis, financially, and need a short intervention from anywhere across the High Peak. Since December 120 food parcels have been distributed helping over 200 people.

“A short intervention may be weeks for others it may be a bit longer,” explained Cath.

“We have to be careful we don’t get anyone becoming dependent on receiving parcels.”

Staffed by a team of volunteers, the charity makes food parcels available for collection five days a week from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.

The parcels usually provide food for four days and include non perishable items such as rice, pasta, tinned meats, vegetables and soup.

The Food Bank is however reliant on a steady stream to donations to replace what is being distributed. Items donated need to have long sell-by dates as it is never known how quickly they will needed.

Cath said: “We have had a fantastic response from the public, from the churches who have played a really important role and from the schools.

“Buxton Community School and St Thomas More have been absolutely fantastic with their collections and delivering parcels.

“It is really good that young people are prepared to help and do food drives for us.”

Other groups donated funds which are used to buy fresh food that can only be bought as and when a parcel is needed.

To help keep a constant supply of food, collecting points have been set up in many of the local churches and the Volunteer Centre in New Mills.

lAny business or organisation which would like to have a collection point or to hold a food drive is urged to get in touch.

The charity is also looking to work with local supermarkets to display shopping lists so people can buy and donate an item from the list when they are out shopping.

If you can help, please contact Cath on 07973 670595.