Hats and shorts order of the day at foodbank

Revd Alan Dickinson, of the BAY Foodbank, receives the donations from Norma Redfearn with staff from the council's Gateway team who organised the collection.
Revd Alan Dickinson, of the BAY Foodbank, receives the donations from Norma Redfearn with staff from the council's Gateway team who organised the collection.
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A charity which supports families struggling to feed themselves has received support from council staff.

North Tyneside Council held a dress-down ‘summer day’ to support the BAY Foodbank, which provides short term emergency food provision for individuals or families experiencing financial problems.

Council staff donned shorts, hats and flower garlands to brighten up their office. And donations exceeded all expectations, resulting in a mini-mountain of tinned and packet foods, toiletries and baby items while more than £320 was raised in a raffle, competitions and cake sale.

Rev Alan Dickinson, chairman of the foodbank, said: “The generosity of council staff has been wonderful.

“We can buy food at 90 per cent discount from our supplier, so £320 will actually purchase £3,200 worth of food for those in desperate need of our support.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “Once again council staff have shown great compassion for their communities and their generosity here will support many people in the borough who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

“Although our ‘summer day’ was light hearted, there is a serious message behind it and I’m very proud of our staff’s support of this charity.

“I would never have dreamed that in the 21st century people would have to resort to food banks to feed their families.”

The BAY Foodbank, set up in 2012, has seen demand for its services grow.

It only accepts referrals from churches, doctors, social services or other statutory agencies.

For more about their service, email thebayfoodbank@gmail.com