Boost for hard-up families

James Baker restocks the Foodbank in Church Street.
James Baker restocks the Foodbank in Church Street.

HUNDREDS of hard-up families have been given a much-needed boost thanks to food parcel donations.

It comes as the Hartlepool foodbank was given a major boost when generous supporters donated over a tonne of food during a week-long public collection.

The charity, set up to help feed people on the breadline and in crisis,collected 1,075 kilograms in donations thanks to the drive with Asda supermarket in Hartlepool.

The foodbank has now helped 320 families and individuals since its distribution centre opened in December.

Volunteers said they were amazed at people’s generosity during the last collection.

Bob Garrington, foodbank volunteer, said: “I was amazed at how generous people were. Every donation makes a difference no matter how big or small.

“It was lovely to see children getting involved walking up to us with a smile on their face and packs of biscuits or sugar in their arms.

“They were really pleased to be giving, which is very encouraging.”

A small army of volunteers gave their time to make the Asda collection such a success.

The store in Marina Way also encouraged customers to support the project and give generously for a full week.

Managers say collections, like at Asda, are vital to stocks as they rely on public donations to keep running.

Foodbank co-ordinator Al Wales, added: “Hartlepool Foodbank wants to say a huge thank you to all those who gave their food or time and to Asda for allowing us to collect and for supporting us.

“It is hard to describe the difference giving a food parcel makes to parents whose children would otherwise go to bed hungry, and it is people like you who make this possible, thank you.”

Hartlepool Foodbank was launched last September by the Trussell Trust church charity after it was revealed that 28.6 per cent of Hartlepool children are living in poverty.

It has been backed by Churches Together and the Mail through our We Can Do It Campaign.

The community pulled together to donate four and a half tonnes of non-perishable foods in time for Christmas.

All recipients have are referred to the foodbank by one of a number of partner agencies such as GPs and JobCentre Plus.