A NEW community food bank has been started to give parcels to families who are “going hungry”.
More than 20 groups have joined with The Cyrenians FareShare North East to stop food going into landfill sites and instead into the hands of those struggling.
The Peterlee organisation will receive donations from a range of suppliers including Greggs, The Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Ringtons.
They will go to community groups and to provide food parcels for families who find it hard to afford food in East Durham.
Michael Shields, general manager of FareShare North East, said: “The help of many partners including East Durham Partnership and East Durham Trust have helped us to reach more, and support better, many of the region’s 5,000 charities and voluntary groups.
“This support for many, many people is at its most critical and basic – helping make sure they have enough to eat day to day.
“It’s a startling fact that today, right here in the North East there are people going hungry.”
Everyone at the launch event was treated to a lunch cooked by Masterchef finalist David Coulson, who is the head chef at the Castle Eden Inn.
David used only Fareshare North East items to create the mouth-watering meal, which included pheasant Thai curry, chilli con carne and a variety of Indian dishes.
The launch event was backed by local agencies including the East Durham Trust, which supports over 300 voluntary groups in the Peterlee and the East Durham area, and also The East Durham Partnership, a social enterprise based in Horden.
Malcolm Fallon, chief executive of the East Durham Trust, added: “The Cyrenians FareShare North East is a vital service to our local communities which are suffering food poverty.
“With a significant proportion of families suffering financial hardship in East Durham it is vital we can ensure food is available to people who need it and The Cyrenians FareShare North East is an environmentally sustainable way to do this.”