Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My visit to Southport Foodbank

Some of the many volunteers at Southport Foodbank
I started my day with a visit to Southport Foodbank housed in a church down by the north end of the Marine Lake. This is a major voluntary effort and draws its support from across the community. The churches play a significant role in collecting food, recruiting volunteers and managing the project. Local supermarkets support the scheme and along with special events these three sectors provide most of the resources. But it doesn't stop there, schools, youth organisations and individual donations are important. On my visit I was told about the involvement of the 58th Southport Brownie who helped collect food at Tescos before Christmas. They returned to the Foodbank to help label and stack the bumper Christmas collection and I understand they followed that through in February with further work at the project..

Demand remains high with December 2016 being a particularly high month and though they are seeing a slight drop off in demand from single people that is more than compensated for by the increase of support to families. The foodbank ahs no taken on welfare benefit advice for its clients and it was good to meet the volunteers involved. They intend to have an adviser at each foodbank session across the Southport network. Benefit delays and changes were the cause that led lmost a third of the foodbank's users to its doors.

After the volunteers has shown me round I joined them for a coffee overlooking the Marine Lake. They have plans for further work. Our town is fortune to have such a large body of willing volunteers to carry out this work. They deserve our thanks.

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