An expanded food bank service is preparing to open its doors next week - and will look to tackle the underlying issues surrounding its use.
Fleetwood’s food bank will move into its new larger premises at the McKee Centre, on Poulton Road, and will see volunteers from the Citizens Advice Bureau and Wyre Council giving advice in a bid to address the reasons why people are reliant on emergency food parcels.
The service gives parcels to people referred to them by Help Direct and will be open from 3.30pm to 5.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday to give residents advice on the various situations they find themselves in.
Alan Vincent,chairman of Fleetwood Food Bank, said: “We will be working with councillors, Citizens Advice Bureau and the community advocacy service, so we won’t only be giving out food parcels.
“We will also be giving out advice to people so they can hopefully get themselves out of the problems they find themselves in.
“We are looking for referrals for the Cook and Eat programme which is going to run from the centre on Wednesday evening.
“This will teach people to budget for food and easily cook nutritious food.” The port’s food bank is moving from its Milton Street home and focusing on this new approach after seeing a 50 per cent rise in the number of food packages handed out last year.
The Cleveleys Christian Advocacy Service, which agreed a deal last year to work out the town council’s office to enable it help Fleetwood residents, has confirmed it will be working with the new-look food bank.
Bill Barrow, an advocate for the service, said: “Our job is working with people in terms of how they came to be at the food banks. It could be redundancy, illness – there are many reasons why they need the service. We offer support and are happy to be involved.”