A foodbank set up to provide emergency food parcels to people in the borough has reached its second anniversary.
The Bay Foodbank started in February 2012 with a small group of volunteers, but now has more than 80 people helping to sort, pack and deliver food boxes to people in need across th eborough.
The foodbank started operating out of an upstairs flat donated by Oxford Street Methodist Church in Whitley Bay, before moving to the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate in North Shields, and now has food donation bins in many local businessses and agencies, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, where people can donate to the cause.
In the last 12 months the foodbank has distributed more than 2,800 food boxes to vulnerable families and individuals in North Tyneside.
Each box has a four day supply of food, with three meals a day.
Rev Alan Dickinson, chair of The Bay Foodbank, said: “We know that there will be an increased demand for our services in the near future, because of the recent welfare reforms.
“We are so thankful to our volunteers and the generosity of the local shopping public who regularly donate food items – we couldn’t do what we do without their support.”
Now more than 80 volunteers help to sort, pack and deliver food items to people who have been referred by churches, doctors, social services and other agencies.
Laura Lindsey, from Whitley Bay, has helped out at the foodbank for the past year.
“It’s nice knowing you are doing something for someone else,” she said.
“I had the time to spare so it seemed silly not to help out.”
The foodbank is backed by borough charity Angels of the North, who provide a free storage area on the Tyne Tunnel Industrial Estate to help store and package food boxes.
Barbara Connors-Fowler from the charity added: “It is essential that charities work closely together for the mutual good.
“Almost every day I am delighted to see that so many people have volunteered to work on the project and the important work that it does.”