People in March have been asked to think about the town’s new food bank when they do their Christmas shopping this year.
The March food bank was opened last Tuesday by Mayor Andrew Pugh, with his deputy Cllr Kit Owen expressing his astonishment that one was needed in the town.
He said he was very surprised when he was first approached about the food bank and even asked whether it would be supporting other towns. He was “astonished” to be told there was a demand for one in March.
“With Christmas on the horizon,” he said at the opening, “I would appeal to you to think twice about presents and when people ask you not to get them anything, to take them at their word and give some thought to donating to this worthwhile cause.”
In addition to the local councillors who attended the opening at Powerhouse Church, where the food bank will be based, members of the food bank committee, PCSOs and colleagues from March Sainsbury went along.
Sainsbury has donated food to the charity and will be having a permanent collection box in the March store. Shoppers are asked to buy an extra item or two and leave it in the box when they do their normal shop.
Store manager Alan Bedwell said: “We have been in the town for 17 years and supported dozens of community based projects. As part of our 2020 vision as a company, we hope to support more.”
Barbara Taylor, from the food bank committee, expressed her gratitude to Powerhouse Church and Raja Mahmood of the Wine Cellar, for offering up space to store the donated food.
March food bank is coming under the umbrella of Ely food bank, which helped to set up the Fenland branch. Karl Relton, from Ely food bank, showed his support at the opening.
The food bank will open on Tuesdays between 1pm and 2.30pm. Clients will need to hold a voucher, which can be issued by several referring bodies in the town such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, doctors and health visitors. The voucher entitles the holder to three food parcels, each with three days worth of food. It is intended as emergency support. People can also be signposted on to other agencies if they need help with issues such as debt.