THE Windermere foodbank has distributed five tonnes of food and support for 150 people – 41 of them children – in its first year of operation.
One was a homeless man, who was also given a tent which he collected from a local charity shop.
The first annual report of the foodbank, which covers Windermere and district, hails the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of local people who have donated six tonnes of food and £28,000.
Distribution centres at Windermere Methodist Church and Ambleside Parish Centre are run by volunteers, with a project co-ordinator, Magda Khan.
Nine churches through ‘Churches Together’ in the Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere areas are involved in supporting the foodbank on a regular basis.
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The project receives food from a wide range of sources including Tesco and Asda supermarkets, older persons’ centre, a local school at Harvest festival and a private school, as well as from individuals.
The annual report says that the foodbank provides a great service to clients, which is appreciated not only by them, but also by the referral agencies.
The foodbank has also supported a student volunteer who left university and was lacking in confidence. As a result of volunteering at the foodbank, his confidence and self-esteem improved and he subsequently returned to university, says the report.
“Windermere and District foodbank should feel extremely proud of all that has been achieved since opening. The foodbank is a credit to the foodbank network locally, regionally and nationally,” said Margaret Nelson, Regional Development Officer of The Trussell Trust, which co-ordinates the scheme.
Fr Kevan Dorgan, Windermere and Ambleside RC Parish Priest and chair of the trustees, said: “The success in the first year of the Windermere and District Foodbank is down to the dedication of our volunteers and the immense generosity of the general public. “The need for the foodbank to help people in crisis will continue for the foreseeable future and we sincerely hope that the public will continue to be generous with their support.”