Claire Leader: Thongsbridge Food Bank
The food bank in Thongsbridge was little know facility until recent times, having operated under the guidance of facilitator Ian Goodge for the past 15 years. With so many vulnerable people needing assistance in the climate of Covid-19 the service has really come into it’s own.
Previously the bank was making up about 25 bags of food per week; but referrals have gone through the roof with an average of 100 packages now being rolled out every week since March 2020. They are currently sending out up to 160 meals per week.
Claire Leader is a volunteer who now works five days a week at the bank along with her neighbour Fiona Barker. There are an additional 20 volunteers on standby to help at any given time. Claire told us how the Coronavirus crisis is helping the most at risk in our community and how the pandemic has raised the profile of the service.
Claire, Fiona and Matthew Barker
Food is donated to the bank from large suppliers including Morrisons, the Co-op, Aldi, Taylors and Lidl but also from individuals who drop in with anything from a bag of frozen veg to a bag of extra shopping they picked up whilst out doing their own shop.
Some of the produce has a limited shelf life such as bread and potatoes and so excess food such as this is distributed in a number of ways so avoid any waste. The bank has teamed up with South Pennine Bus Company who hand out food to passengers on their buses. Some goes to local caterers including Punch, Savaro and Café Plus in Honley who are all themselves cooking up meals for the NHS and vulnerable. Residents of Trinity and Burhouse Court have also received additional contributions from the food bank.
At Easter, Lidl gave the service all the flowers that they could not sell. These were left outside the facility with a donation box and raised £140 to plough back into the coffers for additional food costs.
Previously people had to be referred to the food bank through the High School and other agencies but right now anyone with a need can receive food parcels without any referral needed. Food packages are usually delivered to the door although can be collected with prior arrangement. The service has also taken some of the slack from other food banks that have had to close such at the Welcome Centre and The Mission. They have also extended their reach to the Cole Valley where there are no food banks at all.
In Need of help?
If you or anyone you know might benefit from the food bank service, you can call them on or drop by (by prior arrangement)
Want to help?
If you would like to support your local community what better way than contributing food supplies or money to this fantastic and much needed service.
You can call them, pop in or donate online via their Facebook page. All donations go directly to people in need.
Full Life Centre, Miry Lane, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth, HD9 7RW
Telephone: 01484 684545
Mobile: 07725 996887
Opening hours: 9.30am – 1pm Monday to Friday