Wetherby and District Foodbank is ready to support families and help stop them from going hungry during the summer holidays.
No one plans to be unable to feed themselves and their family and as a nation nobody is expected to go hungry.
But illness, disability, family breakdown or the loss of a job can happen without warning and few people have enough savings to help them through such a crisis.
Which is when Wetherby and District Foodbank can step in to help, especially during school holidays.
One of 1,200 foodbank centres operated by the Trussell Trust charity, it provides more than just food.
Project Manager Claire Fleetwood says, “We are a friendly, welcoming place with hot drinks and biscuits available. What we offer is a caring, listening ear in a relaxed environment. If necessary, we try to direct people towards further help they may need.”
“We don’t make judgments about the people we see and we don’t talk about individual cases outside the Foodbank Centres.”
The food, which is all non-perishable, is donated by the public through collection points at local schools, churches, businesses and supermarkets.
The Foodbank volunteers make up food parcels based on the family’s needs and are designed to provide enough food for three days.
Toiletries, sanitary products and household products are also available.
Before they can visit the Foodbank, users have to get a voucher from a referral agency such as the One Stop Centre in Wetherby or from local schools, churches and children’s centres.
Claire says, “The school summer holidays can be a particularly difficult time for families. When the children are at home, you’re feeding them more than when they are at school having a free school meal.’’
“But we are open throughout the year to provide help and support to anyone who needs it.
“It is local community looking after itself.”