Friday, January 4, 2013
The King’s Centre Food Bank reflects on its progress since it was set up.
The food bank in Honiton is helping to feed around 12 to 15 families a week, it has been revealed.
Norman Amey, of The King’s Centre Food Bank, met Honiton Town Council to discuss its work and the progress the scheme has made since it started in January.
He said: “Our work has raised the issue of food and the people who could not afford to buy food because they were between benefit payments or, maybe, had fallen on hard times or were homeless or, for whatever reason, had no food.”
Various agencies such as the police, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Job Centre Plus, social services and the ambulance service are given vouchers they can give to those in need.
Mr Amey added: “If they haven’t got sufficient food in the cupboards or no money to buy it then they are given a voucher.
“Before, social services might have given an emergency payment but this doesn’t exist now so people are given a voucher to come down and visit us.”
Donated food can be taken to collections at a number of venues in the town including HSBC, Natwest and St Paul’s Church.
Teresa Hawkes, who has worked tirelessly as a volunteer at the food bank, told the meeting that, when she looked at the figures in September, 477 lots of food had been given out to those in need during a period when the food bank was only open once a week. This had dramatically increased since it started running twice a week.
She said: “I would say we are feeding about 12 to 15 families a week – this could be more or it could be less.”
In addition to the food bank service, the King’s Centre also provides debt advice, personal support and mentoring and a furniture bank.
Mr Amey said: “We are there to help improve their lives and situation, and help them stand independently.”
“I think we will be here until the need stops,” he added.
The town council praised the food bank for the wonderful work it is doing in the community.
Donations of cereals, sugar, fruit juice, rice, noodles, pasta sauce, biscuits, and tinned tomatoes, carrots, peas, potatoes, meat meals, spaghetti, puddings, and custard can be taken to The King’s Centre on Tuesdays or Fridays between 1pm and 3pm. Alternatively, take the items to collection bins in the town.