Leyland’s food bank has seen a big increase in much-needed donations and received a major cash boost following a special feature in the Guardian.
The food bank, run by Leyland Churches Together, was beginning to struggle to meet the demands of the community, as more and more families were turning to it for help.
Volunteers at Leyland St Mary’s RC Parish Church in Broadfield Drive were having to give just one food parcel a week to each of the 55 people turning up at its doors, and were also having to spend church funds to buy extra food.
Now, following an appeal in the Guardian for more donations, the food bank is starting to see generous members of the public offering help.
Volunteers have also successfully applied for a £1,000 grant from Leyland’s county councillor, Matthew Tomlinson, who has a certain amount of money each year to hand out to worthy causes.
He said: “After seeing the Guardian feature I decided to go down there with some food and they were really grateful - they were getting desperate. They had hardly any food left.
“I told them I had £1,000 left to spend by the end of the financial year, which ended in March, which I could spread thinly, but because they were so desperate for help, I advised them to put in an application for the full amount.
“I found out last week that the grant had been approved, and it will hopefully go a long way.
“A typical parcel costs less than £5 as there is some really good, cheap food available.”
He added: “I think more people have been relying on the food bank lately because of things like changes in benefits.
“Sometimes people have a period of a couple of weeks when their benefits are changing. And it’s all well and good saying they will get back-pay once it’s sorted, but for those two or three weeks, people have no money coming in.
“For that reason, the food bank is a real godsend for Leyland.”
Parish administrator at the church, Lesley Raven, said: “It’s fantastic news about the grant - it will help us buy an awful lot of food.
“At a stretch, we can make food parcels up for just £2, so that money can potentially help us to make an extra 500 parcels. It will be very useful and it’s much appreciated.”
She added: “People who we have never seen before have been coming to us with food donations too, which is really great.
“We’ve also had some money donations, including £100 from an anonymous contributor, so I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank them.”