£5,000 cash boost for vital food bank

Timely boost: Lancashire County Council has donated �5,000 to Fleetwood Food Bank.  Pictured are Alan Vincent, Lorraine Beavers and Ken Hayton
Timely boost: Lancashire County Council has donated �5,000 to Fleetwood Food Bank. Pictured are Alan Vincent, Lorraine Beavers and Ken Hayton
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A lifeline for Fleetwood people who struggle to put food on the table has been given a £5,000 boost.

Fleetwood Food Bank received the cash from Lancashire County Council’s Food Poverty Grant fund.

A growing number of food banks have been opened across Britain and several are now operating on the Fylde coast, with concerns being expressed about why they are so badly needed in modern society.

In Fleetwood the food bank, which operates on a referral-only basis, is providing help for not only those who are out of work, but people in low paid jobs who say they have difficulty covering their food bill each week.

The food bank meets twice a week at the former McKee Centre on Poulton Road, Fleetwood, and is run by Catholic charity, the St Vincent de Paul Society.

County Councillor Kevin Ellard, chairman of Lancashire County Council, presented the £5,000 to the Fleetwood faciliity.

He said: “It is a sad reflection of the times we are living in that there is such hardship.

“Food banks like the one in Fleetwood are a vital safety net which provide short term help for people in need and help them turn a corner.

“When I visited Fleetwood, what impressed me was how busy it was, and also how professionally it was run by the volunteers.

“It also receives food and a great deal of support from the community of Fleetwood.

“Sadly, it appears that food banks across Lancashire are going to be needed for some time to come.”

Fleetwood County Councillor Lorraine Beavers, who attended the food bank with Coun Ellard, said: “Ten years ago we didn’t hear about food banks. You’d get them in big cities like London but not communities like ours.

“Now we have them in Fleetwood, Cleveleys and even in St Annes because some people just don’t have enough money to eat.

“Fleetwood’s food bank operates under a strict criteria and doesn’t provide food for anyone who just turns up – and yet, it is still really busy.

“In this day and age, that is totally shocking.”

Ken Hayton, treasurer of Fleetwood Food Bank, said: “It is very good of Lancashire County Council to provide this money. It will be of huge help to us.”

The money is part of a larger fund, with Lancashire County Council approving a total of £150,000 in Food Poverty Grants to be handed to 22 groups across the county.

The grants must be invested in facilities such as cooking equipment, storage and training to make organisations more resilient and ensure they can continue to operate.

They cannot be spent on everyday expenses such as paying for food or electricity.