Word needs to spread about new Yateley foodbankBy Laura Nightingale
January 29, 2013
YATELEY’s recently launched foodbank is not reaching out to as many families as anticipated, according to members who help run the service.
One family a week is using the Darby Green Foodbank, at St Barnabas Church, which opened in December to provide emergency non-perishable food to residents in need, with items donated by schools, churches, businesses and individuals. Churches in Yateley and Darby Green, which support the service, expected it to be busy over the Christmas period and through the cold snap.
However, they said many people were unaware of the facility and as a result its volunteers were now appealing for hungry families to get in touch.
The Rev Mike Saunders, from St Barnabas Church, said: “We are serving about a family a week from The Darby Green Foodbank, but we think there might be up to nine people a week in need of our services.
“There is no need to go hungry so we want families to contact us.”
The Rev Andrew Edmunds, of St Peter’s Church in Yateley, said the service involved various agencies who referred people to the Foodbank, so it took some time to get people in.
“It takes a little while really to know that it is there,” Mr Edmunds said. “We expect more people will use the service once the word spreads around.”
Despite Hart being an affluent area, last year more than 200 adults and 200 children used the Foodbank service which has branches in Hook and Fleet. The service works by frontline care professionals, such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police officers, giving out special red vouchers that can be exchanged for food at one of the three Hart Foodbank depots.
Graham Bunch, acting manager of Hart Foodbank, said it would “take time” for potential distributors and clients to realise that the Darby Green distribution centre was now open.
Mr Bunch said: “We are actively working on contacting a long list of local care professionals as potential voucher issuers at the moment. Having said that, we have already issued five food parcels in the first month from Darby Green, a good start considering that Christmas was a holiday break in the middle.
“Our centre in Hook opened in June last year and we are also trying to ensure that its presence is promoted in the local community.
“We must remember that we only started the Hart Foodbank in September 2011 and the Trussel Trust advise that it can take two to three years for a foodbank to become properly established in the community.”
Mr Bunch said during the snow the service ran a skeleton service but did all that they could to get food to people in need.
He was unable to provide more precise statistics for how many families had used the Darby Green centre since it opened as these figures will not be available until the end of the month.
To find out about using the service, donating food or volunteering, call Hart Foodbank on 07926 806256.