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Tuesday, 30 April 2013 (3037903)
(Headline n/a)
by Henry James

PEOPLE having problems feeding their families have been dealt a ‘devastating blow' by the closure of the South and West Lancashire Foodbank.

The charity helped almost 1,000 families across the borough and it closes at a time when there is an increasing need for foodbanks.

Last year the Champion reported that the foodbank, which opened in 1995, was having financial difficulties, and it has now ceased operating.

Staff at the charity say it had run its course and state there are other foodbanks in the borough.

Eleanor Maddocks, from the South and West Lancashire Foodbank, said: “Obviously it is sad, but the foodbank had run its course and it is a natural end to this type of foodbank. There are now other foodbanks in West Lancashire. The Trussell Trust has just opened one in Ormskirk, and there are a couple in Skelmersdale.

”We gave out to groups, but the new foodbanks are giving out to individuals.“

Margaret Highton from Digmoor Community Foodbank, however, said it was a big financial blow to the group which may have to spend an extra £400 a year to join another foodbank.

She said: ”We paid £300 a year to the West Lancs Foodbank and went there to collect our food once a month, which we then give out to needy people. We had been going there for quite a few years.

“It is a blow to ourselves and to join another foodbank would cost £600 to £700. The closure comes at a time when it is most needed.

”We are very fortunate that people are donating food to us. We have a trolley in Asda, which people are putting food in.“

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper MP said: ”For up to 1,000 families the closure of South and West Lancashire Foodbank is a devastating blow. I know that the food packages they provided enabled families to eat as they struggle to make ends meet otherwise.

“I am aware that fortunately there are other groups and community organisations that have taken-up the challenge to continue providing a Foodbank Service for local residents.

”The growing demand for food bank services shows the financial pressures facing too many people and their families.

“I will do everything I can to work with and support the remaining foodbanks to ensure they can keep helping those in need.”


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