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Leeds Foodbanks

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Some of the food generously given by shoppers at Tesco in Seacroft

We expect that most folk are aware of the increasing demand for emergency foodstuffs as the economic situation in the UK has deteriorated.  Local churches and other voluntary organisations have been seeking to meet this need in all sorts of ways, but increasingly it has been seen that a less ad-hoc policy is needed, particularly in the larger cities.

One way of doing this has been the adoption of the methods of The Trussell Trust, the anti-poverty charity which now oversees almost 300 Foodbanks across the country.  The Trussell Trust was originally established in 1997 with a focus on Bulgaria, but in 2000, it was realised  that there was a need for emergency food relief in the UK.

Foodbanks require premises, volunteer staff, a network of food donors from individuals, churches, supermarkets, and once established, Care Professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police identify people in crisis and issue them with a Foodbank Voucher. By partnering with this wide range of care professionals, who are best placed to assess need, Foodbanks can be more sure that need is genuine.  Trussell Trust  foodbanks only meet short term emergency needs and are not a source of on-going ‘food for free’.  Over 100,000 people in the UK received this emergency food aid in the last six months of 2012.

Four Foodbanks have been established across the city – Leeds East, West, South and North.  Leeds West has been established, from the work undertaken by St George’s Crypt in Armley.  Leeds East covers Lincoln Green, Gipton and Seacroft.  Leeds North covers the Miles Hill and Moor Allerton housing estates, and  Leeds South covers LS10/11

Our Club have agreed that we should support the project as best we can.  Trustees for a new Foodbank Charity have been appointed to cover the 4 regions of the city, and Headingley Rotary has provided substantial funds to register and get the new Charity off the ground. Other practical help has been provided in the form of computers and a set of digital scales for each of the 4 quarters of the City.  Club members provide regular help at the warehouse for Leeds east Foodbank and assist with food collections at supporting supermarkets.

Nick & Paul get a brief rest from handing out leaflets to shoppers entering a store

Nick & Paul get a brief rest from handing out leaflets to shoppers entering a store

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