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Huge number of donations for Norwich Foodbank

PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 October 2010

Foodbank co-ordinator Grant Habershon and methodist minister Rev Sharon Willimott at Mile Cross Methodist church on Aylsham Road where they are currently getting things ready for the October 4 launch to distribute food to needy Norwich families.

Foodbank co-ordinator Grant Habershon and methodist minister Rev Sharon Willimott at Mile Cross Methodist church on Aylsham Road where they are currently getting things ready for the October 4 launch to distribute food to needy Norwich families.

EDP pics © 2010

A foodbank to help vulnerable people in Norwich get back on their feet has been a huge success in its first two weeks, claim organisers.

Norwich Foodbank launched on October 4 to provide a lifeline for those in the city who fall on hard times and cannot afford food. So much produce has been donated by the public, the organisation is currently searching for extra space to store it all.

Project co-ordinator Grant Habershon said: “It’s been so hectic; there’s been a couple of us just moving loads of food all day. There’s masses of it. We’ve got more food than we expected. It’s been tremendous. We can see it really is going well. I reckon we’ve got two months’ worth of food quite easily.”

Organisers are now appealing for donations of various items, such as baby food, nappies and toiletries, as well as storage space in the city. The first foodbank started in 2000 in Salisbury, when a family started to hand out food from its garage.

Word of the scheme spread to Norwich when John Betts, then head of Transforming Norwich, heard about it and worked with Norwich’s Christian community to arrange one for the city.

People donate tinned and dried food to foodbank outlets where volunteers sort and pack it.

Care professionals at institutions such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, social services, Age UK and the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Foundation Trust can then hand out vouchers to those that need the food. There are currently 75 vouchers available through the scheme, which can each provide for a family of three.

Because of the huge response, the group is considering expanding the scheme to help people outside of the city.

To volunteer, offer storage space or find out more, call 01603 617905 or email foodnorwichproject@hotmail.co.uk.

For more information about the foodbank, visit www.norwichfoodbank.co.uk

Are you doing something for charity? Contact Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk

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