FAILURE to find new premises could force Stratford Foodbank to shut up shop, fear organisers.
The foodbank – which feeds some 25 people a week – currently operates from the Holy Trinity Parish Centre and United Reform Church.
But the team say they desperately need a warehouse where they could both store and distribute the emergency food parcels to feed families in need.
Chairman David Sladden said: “This really is a critical issue. If we don’t have a warehouse the foodbank could close. This would would be a disaster to those who need our help in their time of crisis, and a bitter disappointment to everyone who has been involved in getting it to where it is today.”
Since the foodbank opened in January 2013 it has helped more than 1,600 people with a three-day emergency food supply – donated entirely by residents and businesses.
In the past year the number of people turning to the service has nearly doubled, with low income and benefit changes mainly to blame.
Nearly a quarter of parcels issued were for children and just over half of users needed help due to benefit changes or delays.
People in need of the service are given a coupon by professional – such as a doctor or social worker – which entitles them to items such as tinned food, bread, tea and coffee.
Stratford Foodbank manager Richard Jackson said its success has been down to the local community working together.
He told the Observer: “From the volunteers on the front line, general public, local church, schools, agencies and charities to the local businesses and national supermarkets in town, they have all played their part in being a local solution to the problem of food poverty. It truly has been a communal effort.”
The foodbank has permanent collection points at Tesco on Birmingham Road and Waitrose on the Rosebird Retail Park.
Email [email protected] or call 07884 418731 to volunteer or help the foodbank find a new home.