Free bus travel scheme launched for Morecambe foodbank

Annette Smith, Morecambe Bay Foodbank project manager, with Matt Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach North Lancashire and Cumbria, with Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster.
Annette Smith, Morecambe Bay Foodbank project manager, with Matt Cranwell, managing director of Stagecoach North Lancashire and Cumbria, with Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster.
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A new scheme will allow people to travel to Morecambe Bay Foodbank for free.

Bus company Stagecoach has announced plans to provide vouchers for free travel to and from the foodbank’s home on Clarence Street in Morecambe.

Matt Cranwell, operations director for Stagecoach in North Lancashire and Cumbria, said he was inspired to help after visiting the foodbank late last year.

“I was shown the back room where they started three years ago,” said Mr Cranwell, speaking at the foodbank’s annual presentation on Wednesday.

“The scale of the donations and the number of families involved really struck me.

“You’ve got to be made of stone not to be affected by that.

“We want to provide vouchers for free travel to the foodbank and back home.

“The biggest challenge for some people is getting to the door, people who don’t have money for a car or bus. “We want to make it more accessible for them.”

The initiative is supported by Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster, who introduced Mr Cranwell to Annette Smith, foodbank project manager.

“From it we have a really practical outcome which will help local people in their time of need,” said Ms Smith.

“Sadly it’s the reality that foodbank use is on the rise, so it will make a huge difference to many people.”

The foodbank helped more than 3,300 people in 2015 and gave out more than 30,000 food parcels.

Transport vouchers will shortly be available from services that already give out foodbank vouchers.