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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Increase in people using foodbank set to continue

THE astonishing generosity of the Furness community saved dozens of residents from enduring a miserable Christmas and new year.

Barrow Foodbank reports that December has been its busiest month for people collecting food, and it says the need will continue in 2013.

The Abbey Road drop-in centre has been inundated with donations from individuals, groups and businesses in recent weeks.

Many of the items the foodbank stockpiled for the frantic Christmas and New Year period were donated by big-hearted Evening Mail readers.

Volunteers handed out parcels to 76 people on December 21 alone in the lead up to Christmas, with people also calling on the service in the period between Christmas and New Year.

Barrow Foodbank opened in late July and project manager Ann Mills said: “For December we have fed three times as many people and had four times as many vouchers.

“We have had this increase and we don’t see it slowing down in the new year.

“Everyone at the foodbank has been overwhelmed by the kindness of people.

“We are in process of writing thank you letters. Everyone has rallied round and we really want to say a very big thank you to all the businesses, schools and individuals – if they could have seen some of the faces of people who received extra Christmas hampers.”

Mrs Mills said she hated to think what would have happened to the foodbank’s users this Christmas if it had not been open. I would be very concerned,” she said.

“The people who come to us were invisible before the foodbank opened and now suddenly you discover people are living in desperate situations – and the austerity measures haven’t helped. I also want to thank all the volunteers who have given up their time and helped out because everyone in the foodbank is a volunteer, nobody is paid.”

Mrs Mills said the foodbank will be working with more agencies, such as doctor’s surgeries.

The foodbank is open Monday to Thursday 11am to 1pm, and from 11am to 3pm on Fridays.

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