Fund-raising activities for food bank get under way

Linda Fugill (centre), of Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, with Katie Wallace (left) and Rachel Gibson of Newcastle Building Societys Morpeth branch.
Linda Fugill (centre), of Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, with Katie Wallace (left) and Rachel Gibson of Newcastle Building Societys Morpeth branch.

An initiative that helps people with an emergency need for food is set to benefit from a fund-raising and food collection campaign by staff at Newcastle Building Society in Morpeth.

The Wansbeck Valley Food Bank has been adopted by the team at the Market Place branch as their charity for this year after a customer talked to them about the work it was doing around the local area.

They paid a visit to its Dacre Street operation in the town to find out more about its activities and have since held two hamper raffles, which raised £150.

A food collection point has also been set up in the branch and a number of customers are now coming in every week to donate items to the food bank.

Branch manager Katie Wallace said: “We weren’t greatly aware of the work that the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank did in our community until one of our customers told us.

“Having visited the Dacre Street warehouse, we could see just how important its activities are and how demand for its support is growing across our area, and getting behind this work ties in extremely well with our mutual ethos of supporting our communities wherever we can.

“Our customers have always been really generous in supporting the various good causes that we’ve worked for in the past and as well as being able to hand over £150, we’ve also been able to donate several bags of food that will directly help people in our community who are in real need.”

Wansbeck Valley Food Bank also has distribution centres in Lynemouth, Pegswood, Ashington and Newbiggin.

It collects and stores non-perishable food, which is issued as parcels to individuals in financial hardship who have been referred to the charity by one of several professional organisations and individuals, and which provide food for a minimum of three days.

Project manager Linda Fugill said: “Last year, we spent £10,000 on food to be able to continue to meet the increasing need to provide food parcels for our clients.

“We are extremely grateful for the support provided by the local branch of the Newcastle Building Society. It is encouraging to see the local community and its businesses helping those facing a crisis.”

The food bank is currently seeking extra volunteers, particularly people to work in the Morpeth and Ashington centres and those aged over 25 with a clean driving licence to make deliveries and collections.

If you can spare a bit of time, call Mrs Fugill on 07841 908477 or email wansbeckvalleyfoodbank@gmail.com for more details.