Back our food banks: Bishop backs appeal

SUPPORT: Rt. Rev. John Goddard.

SUPPORT: Rt. Rev. John Goddard.

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THE Bishop of Burnley believes food banks are a regrettable necessity as families continue to struggle with growing financial pressures.

The Rt Rev. John Goddard said it was imperative communities came together to help a problem which he feels is only set to get worse.

“The churches are working alongside Community Solutions who are doing a very professional job in helping to deliver a solution. It is a regrettable situation but I have seen firsthand that this is something that is definitely needed.

“The fact that all our food banks across the county are having to work hard and in Burnley alone, 102 food parcels were handed out in just one week recently, shows that there is a definite need.

“Most of the work being done in churches is by way of collections. They are acting as collection points for Mark Hirst and the Community Solutions team, who in turn then sort out and distribute the parcels.”

Changes to the benefits system, set to come in this April, will bring even bigger challenges fears Mr Goddard.

“The current poverty situation in East Lancashire looks likely to get worse in the coming months. The problem for those on the margins of society is that if their washing machine breaks, they have no reserves. This is when help is most needed. This is when food banks are needed.”

He added: “I like the phrase that they are using – ‘this is not just a handout, it’s a hand up’. It is important to offer help and advice as well as food.

“It’s an issue across all faiths and it is about reaching out to those in need. We do hope it is a temporary matter because what we all want is a prosperous Burnley.”

Anybody wishing to donate items or volunteer their time can do so by visiting www.communitysolutionslancashire.co.uk or ringing 01254 352591.