MP Rory Stewart has met with Salvation Army Hall officials in Penrith to hear about their work in the community and the services they offer.

The Penrith and the Borders MP met with Lieutenants Stuart and Jenny McPhee.

They told how community initiatives ranged from a community garden project in co-operation with Penrith Action Community Trust, to luncheon clubs and parent and toddler groups.

Mr Stewart said he was particularly interested to learn about the food bank which distributes food from the hall with the help of Corps members and community volunteers.

As a result, Rory has now written to the Department for Work and Pensions and local job centres, to look at specific cases of delayed benefits.

Mr Stewart said: "Local volunteers, like Stuart and Jenny, are doing such an incredible job helping some of the most vulnerable individuals and families in our community.

"It is extremely sad that anyone at all should feel the need to access a food-bank, but I continue to believe that we need to understand the problem of food bank use at a local level in local contexts.

"If anyone remains concerned about this, I would strongly encourage them to get in touch and help me understand the issue better."

Mr Stewart can be contacted at