A volunteer at a food bank found himself forced to use the food he was handing out.
Phil Rimmer and his partner found themselves between jobs and needed to use Morecambe Bay Foodbank where he helped out.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I volunteered at Morecambe foodbank. If I hadn’t have volunteered there, maybe I’d have been more ashamed but there is no reason to be ashamed.
“People go there because they do actually need it, not because it’s a free handout.”
Phil’s situation is now resolved and he is again working as a volunteer.
He said: “It’s opened my eyes and I don’t class people or judge people.
“It’s made me realise that this can happen to anybody.”
Morecambe Bay Foodbank is based at Central Methodist Church in Morecambe.
Since it opened the food bank has helped 1,237 people and given out 15 tonnes of food.
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff, welfare officers, the police and probation officers amongst others identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be exchanged for three days supply of emergency food.
Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
A food bank shopping list contains items such as:
milk (UHT or powdered)
long life fruit juice
tins of soup
sponge pudding (tin)
tinned rice pudding
jar of instant coffee
instant mash potato
jar of jam
packets of biscuits
Trussell Trust foodbanks, of which Morecambe Bay Food bank is one, fed over 900,000 people last year alone. Only last week it was revealed that NHS workers with small pay packets who were struggling to make ends meet, were resorting to using food banks to feed themselves and their families.
Morecambe Bay Foodbank now now has dedicated collection points at Sainsbury’s and ASDA in Lancaster, and at Tesco in Carnforth.
You can also drop off food donations at Morecambe Methodist Church on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am-11am.
For general enquiries contact the food bank on 07591 763130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, visit http://morecambebay.foodbank.org.uk/ for more information on the work the foodbank does, facts, figures , news and events and how to get involved and donate.