WARRINGTON Housing Association (WHA) is supporting its local foodbank for a third year in a row and has raised £900 to help it continue to feed people in crisis.
Since it opened in 2012, Warrington Foodbank says it has seen the need for its services rise year-on-year, with 46,000 meals distributed in 2018. That reflects a national experience, with Trussell Trust foodbanks providing 1.6 billion food parcels last year.
“We are delighted WHA have nominated us their charity of the year again for 2019-20,” said David McDonald, Warrington Foodbank Project Manager. “With rising prices and low incomes, many people are living on the edge. It takes just one unforeseen thing to happen and people are left with nowhere to turn except us. Usage is already up 15% this year and this trend shows no sign of diminishing.”
Lynn Woodger, WHA customer services officer who organises our fundraising activities, said: “The whole office is committed to helping the Foodbank. We raised money throughout the year by a WHA tuckshop, staff running the English Half Marathon, and dress down Fridays among another things. Six times a year we also drop food donations collected in the offices down to the foodbank.”
The foodbank posts weekly what items are needed urgently on its website. WHA said half of its donation will go towards helping make up this shortfall of vital items.
The other £450 will support the conversion of a warehouse near Riverside Retail Park so the foodbank will be able to see twice as many people as it can in its current home at Friars Green Methodist Church.
“Without the generous people of Warrington – the office collections and donations at supermarkets – we wouldn’t exist. But we shouldn’t need to exist at all,” McDonald added. “That 35% of our food needs to go to children, through breakfast clubs and over the holidays when they won’t be getting their free school lunches, is appalling in the 21st century.”
Warrington Foodbank works on a referral basis with almost 100 local community organisations across Warrington providing food vouchers – including WHA.
The housing association said its tenants can get behind the cause by donating items at its donation points at WHA’s head office, any of its sheltered accommodation schemes, or at the LifeTime centre at The Gateway.