Foodbank in need of a bigger space
A NEW satellite foodbank has been launched in Par to help feed the area's hungry.
The scheme was launched at Par St Mary's Methodist Church on Wednesday by the team behind St Austell's foodbank.
The news comes as organisers told of how they have helped feed more than 2,000 hungry people across the region this winter.
And now they have launched an appeal for more storage space to help store the food before it is distributed to the needy.
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St Austell Foodbank manager Steve Williamson said: "Over Christmas we reached the sad milestone of feeding 2,000 individuals since we launched."
He said the scheme, which people access through frontline services such as care workers, has seen an increase in people seeking emergency food.
The 41-year-old added the foodbank is bracing itself for a further surge locally as the effects of the Government's changes to the social fund and benefits ripple across the country on top of the usual causes of short-term struggle.
Despite the gloomy economic backdrop the scheme has been inundated with food donations.
Mr Williamson said: "We are very, very grateful but it has left us with another crisis. We just don't have enough space."
He said with the room provided by one good samaritan in St Blazey overflowing and other food being squeezed into volunteers' garages, urgent help is needed
His search for a bigger space has been fruitless and so the foodbank has turned to Cornish Guardian readers.
Mr Williamson said: "We don't want people to stop giving but we have to find somewhere bigger.
"After the day-to-day running of the scheme this has become my top priority. It is very important we don't waste any of the food that is donated so that we can make sure the maximum amount of people are reached.
"In order to do that we have to be very careful with its management to ensure the food stays within date and so we hand out the oldest food first. Despite our volunteers doing a very good job this can be tricky when it is being stored in lots of different places."
He believes the changes to the social fund are going to hit people in the area quite hard and they must be prepared.
"We have never had more food than we have needed before. It's a faith perspective but I don't think we have all this food for no reason, I think it will be needed shortly."
If a bigger storage provision isn't found it could cause a struggle on the foodbank's long-term goal to provide more distribution centres in Mevagissey and the Clay Country.
"We don't need the space to be massive."
If you can help call Steve on 07896 496269.