Somer Valley Foodbank project helps 130 people in need since start of year
More than 130 people have been forced to turn to Somer Valley Foodbank for life's essentials since its launch at the start of the year.
Details of the number of people who have benefited from the new community welfare project, which has been set up to provide food for people in financial crisis, have just been released.
In total 139 people have been fed after visiting one of the distribution centres in Peasedown St John, Radstock or Midsomer Norton. Of these, 60 were children.
The Rev Matthew Street, from St John's Church in Peasedown St John which has been supporting the project, said: "These figures show how much of a positive impact the foodbank is having. These are 139 real people who would have struggled otherwise."
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More than 5,000kg of food has been donated over the past two months from a series of supermarket collections at Tesco in Midsomer Norton and the Radstock Cooperative store in Radstock, and from the generosity of 16 churches and other organisations.
Foodbanks provide three days of emergency food to people who need it most. Professionals such as health visitors, social workers and Citizen's Advice Bureau staff identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. This can be taken to a distribution centre where people are helped with their food needs.
With more than 100 volunteers collecting and transporting food, helping in distribution centres, and providing support to those who visit, the Somer Valley Foodbank is one of the biggest volunteer-led projects in B&NES.
It is hoping to increase food stocks to provide enough food to cover a two-month period and is giving away new bins to local organisations which can collect large amounts of non-perishable food for the organisation. Community centres, schools and churches are invited to lend a helping hand.
Project co-ordinator Joy Fraser said: "All food items collected will go straight to those who need help the most."
To register for a food collection bin ring 01761 433709.