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Study finds Bingley needs a food bank
A new food bank could be running in Bingley within weeks after a church-led research team heard a “resounding yes” when it asked if one was needed.
During the summer, the Reverend Rosemary Nash, of Bingley Methodist Church, has been looking into food poverty in the area, with a plan of setting up a food bank.
She said: “We have heard of neighbours cooking meals for other neighbours, houses where single parents are struggling to feed their children as a result of benefit cuts, people who are disabled struggling to make ends meet and – very worryingly – pensioners living on a tin of soup a day in order to save money for their heating bills.”
One of the most surprising findings, Mrs Nash said, was the needs of disabled people who might have suffered with changes to benefits, such as having to pay tax on bedrooms which are only occasionally used by carers, so classed as spare.
“We had a lady who volunteers at Bradford food bank who came to share her experiences with us, “ Mrs Nash said. “She said ‘People are literally passing your doorstep to come to us’. She really opened our eyes.”
A steering group is now looking into the practicalities of establishing a Trussell Trust food bank, with aims to get something running by the beginning of November.
Mrs Nash said: “It will not be on the scale of the food banks in Bradford, but the overwhelming feeling is that we need to get going ASAP. I have been overwhelmed by the interest and level of support for the food bank.”
On Friday the steering group visited the Trussell Trust food bank in Bradford to learn more about running a service to help people in emergencies.
Project manger of the Bradford Trussell Trust food bank Ben Haldane said: “There’s need everywhere and some people are in dire situations, so we see people coming from all over.
“We work in the city area, but we work as a Trussell Trust, which works by agencies giving out vouchers referring people to us. If an agency is working with people far way, we might be their only option. We’ve had people from Keighley way and Skipton.
“I think it would be a great help to have another centre.”
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