Morecambe Bay Foodbank and Citizens Advice launch joint projects to support community
and live on Freeview channel 276
Two Citizens Advice workers are now based at the foodbank, with the aim of providing advice, support and advocacy to people who have used the foodbank, with the overall aim of reducing food bank use.
This will be done by making sure that people have maximised their incomes, minimised debts and are claiming all the help they are entitled to.
Adviser Florian Read will be providing general advice to food bank clients, carrying out benefit checks, debt assessment and helping with other advice needs such as applications to the Household Support Fund and housing or employment issues.
Adviser Jeni Meadows is working on an innovative Trussell Trust funded project working in partnership with fourteen pilot schools across the district to provide advice and help to parents who have requested a food parcel, to try and prevent further foodbank use.
"We are so pleased to be working in partnership with Citizens Advice" says Briony Scott, foodbank manager. "We have worked closely with them for many years and we know that they are the experts in social welfare law. We are really looking forward to having Florian and Jeni on our team."
The advisers are working in a new office within the foodbank building, so that foodbank staff and volunteers can refer cases to them quickly, and they can be on the ground to advise and help.
"We want to do whatever we can to support the foodbank and their clients to prevent people having to resort to emergency food." says Helen Greatorex, CEO of Citizens Advice North Lancashire.
"If we can provide timely advice to make sure people are getting everything they are entitled to, we hope to reduce the burden on the foodbank, and allow people to make their own choices about what they eat."
Morecambe Bay Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust group of foodbanks which last year handed out a record number of food parcels with 1.1m going to children.
Citizens Advice North Lancashire is part of the national Citizens Advice network which referred record numbers of clients to food banks in the last year.