Town foodbank in plea for help

A group which provides emergency food supplies for crisis-hit people in Horsham has launched a desperate search for new premises.

Thursday, 2nd November 2017, 12:24 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:26 am
Ruth Hodgson and helpers at Horsham Food Bank store. The food bank is looking for new, larger premises for the storage of donated food. Pic Steve Robards SR1726234 SUS-171030-163554001

Horsham Foodbank currenly uses a building in East Street to store food donated by members of the public for distribution to families in need.

But the building is now too small to cope. Spokeswoman Ruth Hodgson said: “We need to relocate our food storage as our current provision is inadequate and we don’t have the funds to rent space at commercial rates.”

The foodbank is part of a nationwide network, supported by The Trussell Trust, and is run by Horsham Matters, supported by local churches and community groups. It currently provides around 14,000 meals a year.

While some may think it surprising that there is a need for a foodbank in a town like Horsham, Ruth Hodgson said: “If you struggle, you struggle a lot because the cost of living in Horsham is high.”

And, she said, financial crises could happen to anyone. “We are all only one or two pay packets away from not having enough money.”

But, she added, people were generous in donating food in the town. Donation points are at Horsham Matters in Blatchford Road; Tesco in Broadbridge Heath; Tesco Metro in London Road, Pulborough; and Waitrose in Horsham.

The foodbank - which stored donated food in Warnham when it first started four years ago - works with a number of agencies who provide vouchers to people to obtain emergency food supplies. The agencies include Citizens Advice, housing support officers, social services, debt agencies, local schools and churches.

Foodbank centres are at St Andrew’s Methodist Church, Crawley Road, Roffey; the Christian Life Centre, East Street; the Quaker Meeting House in Worthing Road, and Little Footsteps Children and Family Centre, West Street, Storrington.

Anyone who can help provide premises for food storage is asked to contact Ruth Hodgson on 0300 124 0204 or email [email protected]

Said Ruth: “We receive around 25 tonnes of food a year, all of which is tinned or dried. We need a space of about 1500 sq metres all on one floor with level access and ideally with access to toilets and a sink. It needs to be suitable to sort food in but can be anywhere within a short drive from the town.”