Making A Difference: Service that aids people on the breadline hands out free food to 2,000 Hartlepool homes

A SERVICE set up to help desperate people living on the breadline has handed out free food to 2,000 households in the town since it opened its doors.

And Hartlepool Foodbank bosses have thanked the Mail for our support in launching the We Can Do It appeal and helping those in desperate need in the town.

Al Wales (left) and Ali Lee restocking the Hartlepool Foodbank.

Al Wales (left) and Ali Lee restocking the Hartlepool Foodbank.

The foodbank officially opened in December 2012 after kind-hearted readers donated more than four and a half tonnes of food on the back of the Mail launching our campaign.

As we continue a series to mark Local Newspaper Week looking back at how the Mail has supported various community projects, Al Wales, foodbank coordinator, said: “When we first revealed the plan to open the foodbank the idea of getting three tonnes of food felt like such an incredibly difficult task.

“But it was made possible thanks to the support of the Mail and we are extremely grateful of that.

“The foodbank is something that everyone in Hartlepool can be very proud of.”

Ali Lee restocking the Hartlepool Foodbank.

Ali Lee restocking the Hartlepool Foodbank.

Al revealed that since the foodbank opened its doors, it has handed out food to 6,347 people, which includes 2,058 children.

She said the figures mean the foodbank has supported around 2,000 households in the town.

“It is satisfying to know we are helping these people,” said Al.

“But it’s also very sad and humbling that even in 2014 people are relying on food handouts.”

The foodbank project is led by Hartlepool Churches Together and the Trussell Trust charity.

The Mail launched the We Can Do It campaign after frightening statistics revealed that 28.6 per cent of children in Hartlepool are living in poverty.

And we have continued to support the service since it opened its doors, running regular stories about donations and reminding people how they can benefit from the foodbank.

The foodbank, based in Church Street, has been in high demand since it opened its doors.

In January this year the service helped 448 people including 145 children with bosses revealing food parcels were handed out to 40 families in a single day during its busiest month ever.

Around half a tonne of food goes out of the door to residents in need every week so bosses are constantly on the lookout for more donations.

Donations can be left at the foodbank, which opens every Tuesday and Friday at 11.30am-1.30pm.

Food an also be dropped off any time at Asda supermarket, Marina Way, and Tesco Extra, Burn Road, Hartlepool.