In July Littleport Independent Foodbank will have been open for two years. We operate from the vestry in St Georges Church. The Church has made us welcome and they are very patient as we seem to be taking up more and more space.
We open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am -12 noon. As we are independent we are able to help in more ways than just supplying food, plus we are able to help for the whole time a person or family are in need . Over the past six months we have seen the wait for benefits getting longer, plus people are often sanctioned which means no money for a few weeks.
It is dire out there for so many. One man said to us recently after waiting many weeks for benefits that he would be dead if it is was not for foodbank . This may sound drastic but it is true. How else would he get food ? It is not a myth that mothers will go without so their children can have food.
And some people are unable to leave their homes for various reasons and we do deliver food to them. We treat each case differently as one size does not fit all.
We are not be able to help as many as we do without the help of our wonderful community. At times we are quite humbled by all the donations we receive. We are also happy to collect donations.
We know if there is anything we need we only have to put a shout out on Facebook and offers will appear.
Because of the generosity of the community we have been able to supply furniture and household goods to those who have moved into a home and had nothing. Foodbank has helped people moving from the hostel into their new home. They have at times only a few hours to move and no money to hire a van. East Cambs have assured us they will be able to help in the future…
We have a good relationship with those who use Foodbank. On a Friday there is a ‘Listening and Information Service’ in the church, which is very convenient for food bank clients as if they need to chat about a problem they only need to make the one visit.
On a Tuesday we do a soup and roll from 12 noon – 1pm. Often people who have come in for food at the Foodbank will join us. There is a friendly atmosphere and for many it is a break from sitting at home worrying.
There is no shame in having to use Foodbank.
The shame is we live in a country where foodbanks are a necessity!
Many people who have been helped return at a later date to bring donations.
We have made many new friends since we opened in July 2016. Littleport Independent Foodbank is an example of how a caring community can come together and support each other.