Needy are banking on your goodwill

Rev Peter Brown and Annette Smith co-ordinators of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank.
Rev Peter Brown and Annette Smith co-ordinators of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank.

Have you got a few tins of food going spare? Maybe an unwanted packet of pasta and sauce, or mashed potato?

If so, there are people in greater need who are desperate for your help.

And your donations of a few cans of meat or cartons of milk could really make the difference between life and death for people in the centre of Morecambe.

A special Foodbank has been set up in Poulton to find food, drink and household goods for people in crisis.

The charity is based in the former Central Methodist Church and run by volunteers.

People who need emergency food will be referred to the Foodbank by social workers, health visitors, job centres and other welfare organisations.

At the Green Street centre, clients will exchange a voucher for a vital three days’ worth of supplies. They will also receive a hot drink, a listening ear and advice about other professionals who can help them out of their plight.

But the Foodbank needs your donations of food, drink and money before it can fully open.

Organisers have to reach a target of three tons of food and they currently only have 220 kilograms.

“We did our first collection a few weeks ago at Morrisons and we were blown away by the response,” said Annette Smith.

Cheery mum-of-four Annette, from Morecambe, is a driving force behind the Foodbank. She was forced to give up work four years ago after having major surgery and is devoting her time to getting this project off the ground.

The Foodbank volunteers will be holding regular collections at shopping centres across Morecambe. Annette hopes shoppers will find it in their hearts to donate an item, or maybe more, from their baskets and trolleys.

“We’ve been so encouraged by local businesses giving their support,” said Annette.

“But we need more food, and we need more funding to make the place more comfortable for the people who come in.

“They are at a point of crisis. We need to help them find the means to fend for themselves.”

Rev Peter Brown is the minister at the former Central Methodist Church, now renamed the GYM (Guard You And Me). We don’t have traditional services, it’s more relaxed,” explained Rev Brown, who also looks after churches in Brookhouse and Arkholme.

“We hope it will be more accessible to a wider age of people, who are looking for an alternative.

“Most importantly, we are here to serve this community and there is a big need in the centre of Poulton.

“It’s sad that we’re in this position and it’s horrible that this is needed.

“But the reality is there are families without food and we want to be there to help them to get back on their feet.”

Rev Brown and Annette have appealed for more volunteers to come forward.

“We need 20 to 24 volunteers at least, just to give up one hour once a month on a Friday and Saturday,” said Rev Brown.

The charity also needs money for transport, so they can deliver food to the needy, computer equipment to keep records and for special drop-off ‘food bins’.

Morecambe Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust, an organisation helping local communities to combat poverty and exclusion in the UK and Bulgaria.

The Foodbank’s next supermarket collection day is this Friday (October 26) at Asda Lancaster then at Morrisons in Morcambe on November 3.