An emergency food bank is being proposed for Whitby to help feed families below the poverty line after calls from organisations and community groups that something needs to be done.
A public meeting will be held at 5.30pm on Wednesday at Whitby’s Green Lane Centre which anyone interested in the project including businesses, organisations and individuals, are invited to attend.
The plans for a food bank arose from a meeting of the Whitby Financial Inclusion Forum which a number of agencies who work in the community attend.
The project is being facilitated by Yorkshire Coast Homes housing manager Mel Tilley who says community involvement is key and should only be part of the support provision.
“There are many reasons individuals and families need both short and long term support but the intention of the food bank support is emergency and short-term only,” she said.
“It has already been proven there is a need for a food bank in our adjoining towns of Scarborough and Guisborough and we have seen an increase in demand for the help from a food bank in both areas.
“Those accessing a food bank are already experiencing hardship without the expectation of travelling either to Scarborough or Guisborough. The service would be a local service for local people overseen by a cross section of agencies in the community.”
Although the food bank is in the early stages of planning, it is likely it will hand out food supplies which could be supplied by donations from the public and businesses as well as other food banks and fund-raising.
Nationally, 13m people live below the poverty line in the UK and last year food banks fed 346,992 people nationwide.
It is intended people needing to use the Whitby food bank would be referred by agencies such as social services.
Already many organisations are involved including the borough council, Sure Start, Citizens Advice and a number of churches. If you can help call Mel on (01723) 343441 or Chris on 07789 765696.