Morpeth Lions Club
It was a family affair at a recent meeting of Morpeth Lions Club as President Chris Offord welcomed Sean and Linda Fugill to talk to the group.
The pair brought club members up to date with the valuable work undertaken by the Wansbeck Food Bank.
Sean explained that the food bank was formed back in 2012. At the time, it was hoped that it would only be needed for two years.
Now, some five years later, it is, in fact, needed more than ever.
As an example of the increasing demand for its support, Sean told us that some 24,000 meals were handed out in 2015, and this had risen to 34,500 meals last year.
The food bank mainly covers the area of the Wansbeck corridor.
It works on the basis of referrals from 30 to 40 care professionals, such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux and health visitors.
These professionals are in a position to judge the needs and hardships.
The system works by helping the beneficiaries to get through hard periods and tough circumstances in their lives.
With the introduction of Universal Credit, organisers believe the needs are likely to increase.
An example was given of a young man who had just got a job, but lost his benefits before he received his first wages.
The food bank was able to help get him through that difficult period.
There is also the statistic that only 50 per cent of people in the North East have savings in excess of £100. This means that any unexpected bills can greatly affect the ability to survive.
As new needs come to light, the food bank responds.
It has recently introduced a restricted meat voucher scheme in Ashington, and it hopes to replicate that in Morpeth.
Additionally, it has received funding for some of its volunteers to receive training in giving budgeting advice.
In conclusion, Sean and Linda urged anyone who knows someone who could benefit from the food bank to contact them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Morpeth Lion President Chris Offord thanked Sean and Linda for their very interesting and informative presentation on the Wansbeck Food Bank.
He said: “It gives me great pleasure to present Wansbeck Food Bank with a cheque for £1,000.
“In years past, Morpeth Lions Club has collected donations in Morrisons in Morpeth, in December. We then arranged for food parcels to be made up and delivered just before Christmas to numerous households in the area.
“The Wansbeck Food Bank undertakes a similar role throughout the year, with the benefit of its many professional contacts, who identify the most needy.
“We felt that this past December’s collection from the ever generous Morrisons customers would be best put to use by supporting the excellent work the food bank provides for those less fortunate in our communities.”