Tagged: Al Wales

Hartlepool foodbank set to launch debt advice service to help struggling families

Hartlepool Foodbank is set to expand its services to help people deal with debt after winning a funding boost.

The Churches Together project, which has given out a whopping 60 tonnes of food to over 8,000 individuals since launching two years ago, secured the cash prize from Lloyds Bank’s Community Fund.

The foodbank, based in Church Street, came second in a regional online public vote to secure the funding.

The £2,000 will be used to launch a new Community Money Advice (CMA) debt advice service this year.

Al Wales, co-ordinator of Hartlepool Foodbank, said:

“We are so grateful to everyone who voted for us.

“Finishing second was a big achievement and shows the level of support there is for the work of the foodbank in the town.”

Foodbank bosses decided to focus on debt-related issues as it is one of the biggest issues faced by clients who are referred to them for emergency food parcels.

The new service will be headed up by foodbank trustee Lisa Lavender.

She said:

“We are delighted with this award because it means we will be able to offer completely free, face to face, quality money advice services which will contribute to the good already being done around the issue of debt in the town by agencies such as West View Resource Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau and Credit Union.”

According to the Trussell Trust charity, which runs the Hartlepool and other foodbanks, more than one in 10 UK families have taken out a pay day loan to make ends meet in the last year.

And almost a quarter have fallen into debt to be able to provide for the family.

Managers say they are currently well stocked with beans and pasta but are very low on tinned fruit, sugar and fruit juice and custard and tin tomatoes or pasta sauce.

You can leave them in permanent collection points at Tesco Extra, in Burn Road, or Morrisons, in Clarence Road.

Supporters can also take them to the foodbank on Tuesday or Friday mornings.

Source –  Hartlepool Mail, 19 Jan 2015

Praise for Hartlepool allotment owners growing festive veg for those in need

Foodbank organizers in Hartlepool have praised allotment holders who were asked to pledge some veg after an amazing response.

Growers across the town donated an impressive 55 large boxes of produce bursting with fresh vegetables.

They answered an appeal to donate surplus produce to Hartlepool Foodbank by supporting Hartlepool Borough Council’s Big Christmas Dinner Challenge.

It was also run in partnership with the Allotments’ Tenants Focus Group and the town’s Waverley Terrace Community Allotment.

Kate Ainger, Hartlepool Borough Council environmental projects officer, said:

“We invited allotment holders to ‘pledge some veg’ and the response was amazing.

“We would like to thank everyone who contributed for their invaluable support.

“It is great to know that the Big Christmas Dinner Challenge is really going to make a difference to a significant number of families.”

Empty boxes were donated by Fruit Fayre in Oxford Road and were filled with vegetables including potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, beetroot, swede, sprouts, rosemary, cabbage and marrows before being delivered to the foodbank for distribution.

Each box also included an information pack with suggested recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on how to make the most of the produce.

Al Wales, Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator, said:

There was a fantastic response from allotment holders and we would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks. It was brilliant to be able to give out fresh vegetables.

“We gave some of the boxes to people who sought help directly from us and others were distributed amongst our partner charities.”

Allotment sites which contributed to the appeal were Nicholson Field, Thornhill, Throston, Chester Road, Briarfields, Burn Valley, Woodcroft, Summerhill, Haswell, Rossmere and Waverley Terrace.

Staff and volunteers at the Waverley Terrace Community Allotment, which offers opportunities to children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, and people with mental health problems, also helped to collect, sort and pack the donations.

Since January, Hartlepool Food Bank, part of the Trussell Trust foodbank network, has fed 4,357 people since it was started. This month alone it has supported 290 people, 89 of whom were children.

Source –  Hartlepool Mail,  22 Dec 2014

Every three minutes – that’s how often Hartlepool’s foodbank is called into action as more families struggle

Hartlepool Foodbank is giving a vital food handout to desperate families an average of every three minutes it is open.

The number of starving people being forced to turn to the foodbank to be able to eat has increased by almost a quarter within a year.

Between January and June this year, 2,310 people walked into Hartlepool Foodbank, in Church Street, and received a three-day food parcel.

The foodbank is open two days a week for a total of four hours and the figure equates to a handout every three minutes.

That is equal to 385 people using the service every month in the period, or 89 people every week.

In the same six-month period last year there were 24 per cent less people needing its help with around 1,750 residents needing a package of food.

The shocking figures prompted Hartlepool Foodbank to launch a Neighbourhood Food Collection at Tesco, in Belle Vue Way, Hartlepool, as part of a national initiative with other stores up and down the country.

And generous customers donated an incredible 7,914 meals for people in need this winter.

The collection was held to make sure that the charities have enough food to help people during the winter, which is the hardest time of year for people in poverty.

Foodbank staff say that Christmas is looking especially tough for people on low incomes, with many already really struggling to make ends meet, and many parents being forced to choose between eating and heating.

Al Wales foodbank manager, said:

“Winter is the hardest time of year for people living in poverty, and this Christmas is looking especially tough as many people on low incomes are already really struggling.

“Numbers of people turning to Hartlepool Foodbank in the first six months of this year January to June increased by 24 per cent compared to the same period last year, and 2,310 people in Hartlepool have been given three days’ emergency food in the first 6 months of this year.”

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said:

“The Government’s welfare reform changes are having a major impact on many local families and we are fully aware of the hardship this is causing.

“The foodbank is playing a vital role in supporting large numbers of people across Hartlepool and since it was opened in 2012 the council has made a number of financial donations to support its work.

“As well as donating food at the Hartlepool Foodbank site on Church Street, residents can also bring items to the Civic Centre reception, during normal office hours, and we will make sure the items are taken to the foodbank on their behalf.”

Foodbank’s Al added:

“Once again the generosity of local people is overwhelming – from children giving their pocket money, to bags and even whole trolley loads for food, being donated.

“Every item counts and helps to make a difference.

“The timing of the collection couldn’t have been better, not only are we stocked for the cold weeks ahead but we are also busy preparing emergency food boxes for our partner agencies to hold over the Christmas period when Foodbank is closed, from December 24 to January 6.

“During the collection, customers were asked to donate non-perishable food items such as long-life milk, cereals, tinned vegetables, tinned meat and Christmas treats.

“Thirty-two volunteers from the Trussell Trust Hartlepool Foodbank joined with Tesco staff in store to collect donations from kind-hearted customers.

“Tesco then topped up all donations by 30 per cent.”

The Tesco collection was part of the fifth UK-wide scheme, in partnership with foodbank charity The Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare, with an aim of reaching a target of 20 million meals for people in need by the end of this year.

• The foodbank, at 28 Church Street, is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 11.30am until 1.30pm.

For more information contact the foodbank on info@hartlepool.foodbank.org.uk, or telephone (01429) 598404.

Source –   Hartlepool Mail, 08 Dec 2014

Hartlepool engineers buy stacks of supplies for town’s foodbank

Staff at a Hartlepool firm showed community spirit is alive and well after buying stacks of food for a town charity.

Employees at engineering specialists Doosan Babcock, based at Hartlepool Power Station, raised more than £500 which they spent on boosting stocks at Hartlepool Foodbank.

The workers bought bagfuls of food and delivered it to the charity’s warehouse.

They then saw how their donation will help people in crisis when they visited the foodbank’s distribution centre in Church Street, Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Foodbank co-ordinator Al Wales said:

“We are extremely grateful for the support of Doosan Babcock Ltd and their generous food donation.

“It’s great to be partnering with local businesses and industry to support those in need in Hartlepool.

“Since opening nearly two years ago Hartlepool Foodbank has supported over 3,000 households.

“The continued support of the project by so many indicates that community spirit is alive and well in Hartlepool.”

 

John Turner of Dosan Babcock in Hartlepool said:

“It was head office’s suggestion to support the foodbank to help the needy.

“We raised a total of £505 for the foodbank.

“We then did a shop for a variety of non-perishable food which we donated. We were pleased to help them.”

The foodbank, run with the Trussell Trust charity, can get through up to half a tonne of food a week.

Source –  Hartlepool Mail, 30 Oct 2014

 

Hartlepool – Desperate families struggle to feed children in holidays

Foodbank bosses fear there will be a huge rise in hand-outs during the school holidays as desperate families struggle to feed their children who would have received free school meals.

Families picked up almost a TONNE of goods from Hartlepool Foodbank in the first week of the school holidays.

The foodbank, in Church Street, usually hands out around half that amount each week to families on the breadline struggling to make ends meet.

But on the day many town schools broke up for their six-week break, volunteers at the Foodbank dished out more than 30 parcels to feed families.

Hartlepool Foodbank manager Al Wales said: “We were very busy this time last year, but as it was our first summer in operation it is difficult to say that is purely down to the school holidays as there are no previous figures to compare it to.

“But there is no doubt that the school holidays are a key factor in the increase in parcels we give out.

“Children who normally have their lunch at school are now at home, and they need to be fed.

“So the families are having to get more food than they normally would.

“We were extremely busy last Friday, and the collection on the Tuesday was also quite large.

“On a busy week, we can hand out about half a tonne of food across the week. “Last Friday, we did that in one day.”

The Foodbank opens twice a week, for two hour periods on Tuesdays and Fridays.

People deemed to be in need of handouts are referred to the Foodbank by health professionals, social workers or other agency staff.

Al added: “We carried out a collection in Morrisons recently because we knew we would be busy during the summer.

“The schools help us with regular donations, but when they are on holiday they obviously drop off.

“We’re well stocked, and we’re coping, but obviously more donations are always welcomed.”

Source –  Hartlepool Mail,  26 July 2014

 

Pupils’ insight into food poverty at Hartlepool Foodbank

Thoughtful  school students got an insight into food poverty by fasting and raised half a tonne of vital supplies for Hartlepool Foodbank.

 A group of teenagers from English Martyrs School in Hartlepool raised just over £200 from family and friends by going without food for a day.

And they quickly spent the cash on stacks of food which they delivered to Hartlepool Foodbank in Church Street.

Project co-ordinator Al Wales said: “We were delighted and blown away by the donation.

“It is great to see students engaging with food poverty issues and doing something about it.”

The Year 10 students are all part of newly-formed St Vincent de Paul youth group in English Martyrs.

Laura Howe, co-ordinator of the group, said: “St Vincent de Paul Society is a charitable organisation which rather than donating money goes out and does things to directly help communities and works with the underprivileged.”

It has been a busy time for the foodbank after Hartlepool’s Tesco Extra store collected 2.6 tonnes of food in three days.

And last Friday, volunteers held a successful collection at Morrisons, in Clarence Road.

Al added: “We would like to say a huge thank you to the customers, the response from them was really positive.

“We haven’t had chance to weigh it up yet but it looks to have been very successful.

“Last August was our busiest month of the year so we wanted to ensure our warehouse was fully stocked and ready in of an increase in demand.”

Source –  Hartlepool Mail,  16 July 2014