Back our food banks: How you can help...

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“GET involved and help make a difference”.

That is the message from Burnley Food Bank organisers who are urging people to support their efforts and help rid the town of poverty.

Mark Hirst, a director at East Lancashire Community Solutions where the food bank is run from, said there will always be a need for donations and it is imperative that people understand just how important a role they can play.

“We do have a genuine need for donations,” he said. “There are a number of people and organisations that are doing their bit but there are always more people that can help out. We are always trying to look at a more co-ordinated approach.

“It’s certainly not just individuals who can help. Any companies out there who would be willing to donate items for the cause would be greatly appreciated.

“We still rely heavily on donations. We want the local community to help the local community. That has always been our philosophy.”

Mr Hirst said there was a significant rise in donations in the run up to Christmas. He was keen to ensure though that people recognised that food is something that is needed all year round.

“Between harvest time and just before Christmas we received a high number of donations. The challenge comes now though. We need to make people aware that this is an ongoing thing and help is needed all year round.

“We want to encourage people to get involved and help make a difference. Even if it’s just two tins of beans or a box of cereal, it all helps.”

The food bank is also always on the lookout for potential volunteers to help make the project more effective.

Volunteers deliver the food parcels to recommended families or individuals, which can be a one-off delivery or last for several weeks.

They can also help with packing food parcels, assisting with stock management, delivering food parcels and fund-raising for the project.

“We’re always looking for volunteers as we also run a befriending service through Community Solutions,” said Mr Hirst. “The food bank currently has around 40 volunteers while the entire service currently boasts around 150. It’s a great opportunity for people to come along and give something back.

“Anybody wanting to help is best to just get in touch with us”

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