Foodbank helps over 800 people in Mid Norfolk in just one year

Volunteers and day centre users at the Mid Norfolk Foodbank warehouse

Volunteers and day centre users at the Mid Norfolk Foodbank warehouse - Credit: Archant

More than 800 people in a financial crisis have been helped by the Mid Norfolk Foodbank in its first year.

It is one of six in Norfolk and covers the towns and surrounding communities of Dereham, Swaffham and Fakenham. The service is run entirely by a team of 40 volunteers, who regularly give up their time to work in the distribution centres or the warehouse at the Dereham Community Hub on Rash's Green.

Project manager Dave Pearson said: 'It has been a local success story thanks to the amazing generosity of the community and the fantastic work of the volunteers.

'The donation of food has been overwhelming. Through the support of many individuals, over 20 local schools and a similar number of churches, as well as Tesco in Dereham and Waitrose in Swaffham, we have received nearly 9000 kg of food since September last year. Over the same period we have given out nearly 4000kg in emergency food boxes from our distribution centres in Dereham and Swaffham.'

These recent comments from people who have benefited from the service are typical of many which are received.

One said: 'I don't know what I'd have done without the support of the Foodbank. It's nice to know people care and want to help.'

Another said: 'I am so grateful for the kind response of your helpers. Much needed food and toiletries are truly a lifeline. They give hope and humanity.'

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Mr Pearson added: 'It is heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of people who have come to us for help and our teams of volunteers just want to reach out to them and offer them hope in a difficult situation. If any of your readers know of anyone - friends, family or neighbours who we could help then please ask them to get in touch – we are there to help.'

More than 25 local organisations refer people to the Foodbank including Citizens Advice Bureau, health visitors, children's services, Age UK, Julian Support Outreach.

Having been referred, and on receipt of a voucher, people can collect food parcels from Wellspring Family Centre in Dereham on Mondays from 1.30-3.30pm and Fridays 1-3pm or from Swaffham Baptist Church on Tuesdays from 10am-noon.