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Readers urged to donate
12:18pm Thu Jan 03, 2013
 
Advertiser readers are being urged to support a project that will help feed the hungry in the Newark area.
Food parcels will be distributed using a voucher system by volunteers co-ordinated by (above) Mrs Steph Melrose, of Coddington, and Mr Colin Jackson.
Food parcels will be distributed using a voucher system by volunteers co-ordinated by (above) Mrs Steph Melrose, of Coddington, and Mr Colin Jackson.
A foodbank is being set up as part of a network of more than 270 throughout the UK registered with The Trussell Trust.

Project co-ordinator Mr Garry Beech said there was a real need in Newark.

He said the Newark and Coddington areas were rated among the worst 20% in national poverty statistics, with child poverty a particular problem.

Major Tim Justice, of Newark Salvation Army, said they were receiving more requests for help from people who had run out of gas or electricity on their meters as they had spent fuel money on food.

“The foodbank will help them with food and they will then be able to use money for heat, light and cooking,” he said.

Mrs Helen Wilkinson, who is responsible for fundraising for the Newark foodbank, said people often gave up something such as chocolate or alcohol in the New Year.

She said they hoped to encourage people to use what they saved to make a donation to the foodbank.

The scheme will be run by volunteers. All the food will be donated, but the project will need an estimated £20,000 for running costs.

“We are asking people to consider pledging a monthly donation of either £2, £5 or £10 to help,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

Newark’s Waitrose store has agreed to let the scheme hold its first food collection there on Saturday, January 19.

Volunteers will ask customers to add an item for the foodbank to their shopping.

The scheme will be based at Barnbygate Methodist Church. It will launch on February 4 and open on Monday and Friday afternoons.

To receive emergency food people must be referred by a frontline care professional or agency such as doctors or social workers.

They will issue a voucher to be exchanged for a parcel containing enough nutritionally-balanced food to last three days.

Mrs Steph Melrose, of the project steering committee, said initially they planned to issue a limited number of vouchers to give them a chance to ensure everything was running smoothly. The scheme could be under way fully by Easter.

Pledges can be made at www.newark.foodbank. org.uk or by calling the co-ordinator on 07417 409919.

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