Derwentside Homes donates to local food bank
Published by Craig Downs for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Margaret Nealis, Secretary of Food4U, Denise Singleton, Social Inclusion Officer at Derwentside Homes, Anne Shaw, Chair of Food4U and Jessica Wray, Community Involvement Officer at Derwentside Homes
One of County Durham’s largest social landlords, Derwentside Homes has pledged its support to help a local food bank get up and running.
Food4U currently operates from the Salvation Army building onStation Road, Consett and has been established to provide short term, emergency food to individuals or families in crisis. Due to demand, they have now opened a new distribution point inStanley, which Derwentside Homes has donated £260 worth of food to set up.
To access the food bank, which is located at The Tommy Armstrong Centre in Stanley, customers must be referred to the service by official bodies such as the Jobcentre, Citizens Advice Bureau, support groups, doctors and schools.
Margaret Nealis who is the secretary for the Food4U food bank in Consett, said: “We decided to set up a food bank inStanleydue to the number of referrals we were receiving in our Consett food bank. The problem is, customers do not have the money to travel to Consett to collect their food parcels so this is a convenient way to meet and distribute their food.
“We are very grateful to Derwentside Homes for making this wonderful donation and I am delighted with their level of interest. They are the first official body to show an interest in helping us, which we are thrilled about.”
The vast majority of food is donated by local churches and community groups but it is past customers who have benefitted from the service that are also lending a hand.
Susan Gowland, Community Investment Manager at Derwentside Homes, said: “We visited the food bank to see what service they provide and we were only too happy to make a donation to help them. With redundancies, major cuts to benefits and increasing fuel costs, more people are being referred to food banks so it is important that organisations such as Derwentside Homes get involved in some way to help the local community.”
As well as the initial donation, Derwentside Homes’ Community Investment Team will be providing continual support to the food bank, as well as regular donations through food bins at their head office, where visitors and staff can donate tins of food.