‘Still a need’ for Morecambe foodbank as 2015 figures revealed

Photo Neil Cross: Annette Smith of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank with food collected.
Photo Neil Cross: Annette Smith of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank with food collected.

Morecambe Bay Foodbank was used by 3,373 people in 2015 and gave out 38.5 tonnes of food.

A driving force behind the foodbank also revealed that 30,357 emergency food parcels were given out last year and the foodbank was used by 2,100 adults and 1,273 children.

Annette Smith, project manager at Morecambe Bay Foodbank, said the number of people using the foodbank had risen by 240 year-on-year.

Annette said: “We would rather not have a foodbank but there is still a need for it.

“At the moment we’re not going anywhere while there is still a need.”

Speaking to invited guests at an annual presentation, Annette praised businesses, volunteers and food donors who helped supply the foodbank in the past 12 months.

Coun Jon Barry, mayor of Lancaster, was a guest at the event.

“In this role I see a lot of people who are the glue that holds this area together and in terms of splodges of glue, I think what the foodbank does is a very big one,” he said.

Representatives of supermarkets Morrisons, Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco attended the event held at the foodbank’s base in the GYM Church on Clarence Street.

They brought in more than 15 tonnes of food between them in 2015 through collection points in their stores.

Lancaster University student Rachel Hatton was thanked for collecting food from Halls of Residence.

Sociology student Rachel, 19, knocked on doors to collect a quarter of a tonne of food until she had to stop when students went home early for Christmas due to the floods. She will start collecting again soon.

Many local schools and churches have also helped the foodbank, with Lancaster Girls Grammar donating more than 200 selection boxes over the Christmas period.

Torrisholme Primary School holds a monthly ‘Foodbank Friday’ to collect food from staff and pupils.

There was also praise for Lancaster and Morecambe College staff who sold knitted snowmen and had a Christmas jumper day to raise funds for the foodbank.

Annette also thanked Speights Fruit and Veg of Lancaster who supplied 60 parcels of fresh fruit and veg for families over the Christmas period.

Other businesses to help the foodbank in 2015 included Greggs who donate fresh bread, pasties and cakes to the foodbank twice a week and the Nat West bank who gave 200 Easter eggs to the foodbank in 2015.

Costain (builders of the Heysham to M6 link road), Thornton Lodge care home, The Bay radio, Cumberland Building Society, EDF Energy (owners of Heysham Power Stations), Kellogg’s, No Hands Massage, Doosan Babcock,

The Morecambe Hotel and Stagecoach were among the other businesses to help last year.

Danny Matthews, The Bay breakfast show host, received a special award for his broadcasting efforts during the recent floods and power cuts.

The foodbank donates parcels of food to people who are referred to them from various sources through a voucher system.

Voucher holders include the offices of both of the district’s MPs, David Morris and Cat Smith, as well as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Lancaster and Morecambe Homestart, local childrens’ centres, the Young People’s Service, Barnados, Morecambe Foyer and the British Legion.