A helping hand from food bank
People living on the breadline are to benefit from a cheap food project.
Supermarket goods, socks and T-shirts were handed out for the launch of the scheme on the Gilmorton Estate, in Leicester, yesterday.
Residents attended the session, organised by the Gilmorton Development Group and held at the estate's community centre, to pick up bags of goods, including fruit drinks, potatoes, breakfast cereal and various ingredients, for just 50p.
It is the latest scheme to be set up using food from the FareShare Leicester charity.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Cassie Harris, 22, bought food to feed her and her three-year-old daughter, Olivia.
She said: "My partner wasw made redundant and now he's on a low wage so we're getting housing and council tax benefits. I used to be able to afford to shop in Morrisons, but with prices going up I can't any more.
"It's Iceland or the market now, but my daughter eats like anything so this is really good for us.
"It's what's needed around here. I think things are going to keep getting worse until there start being more jobs."
Alan Potter, chairman of the development group, said about 70 per cent of people on the estate were out of work.
He said: "We've had 14 people so far, which is a good start, and we expect more next time. We're going to keep doing this once a fortnight. We have about 300 households on this estate living on benefits so we could end up with more people than we could cope with.
"We know the people down here and the ones who need the food. Things are getting worse and it will be worse still from April when the benefits changes come in."
The group is made up of volunteers who have set up the new food bank, with £500 funding from Leicester City Council.
Group member Averil Dowds said: "FareShare picks up all the food and provides it for us and we' received clothes from elsewhere. We've also received drinks from Britvic to sell to raise more money.
"Most of the people who have come for the food really do need it and they've been very grateful."
Others living on the estate have welcomed the scheme.
Sarah Standley, who runs Bargains Galore, a struggling second-hand shop next to the community rooms, said the recession had hit the estate hard.
She said: "It's really hard to keep the business going and it's very quiet a lot of the time.
"We had a good number of people coming in before Christmas but since then it's been very quiet. A lot of people here are unemployed and don't have much money."
If you would like to register for the food bank, call 07596 6363295.