Take the pledge to support food bank in winter

Voluntary Action for Calderdale tin food.  Stuart Rumney, Soo Nevison, Janet Garner, Olwen Edwards and Neil Howarth.
Voluntary Action for Calderdale tin food. Stuart Rumney, Soo Nevison, Janet Garner, Olwen Edwards and Neil Howarth.

A food bank has launched its winter appeal to help people struggling financially in the run-up to Christmas and over the cold months ahead.

The Todmorden Food Drop-in, which runs at St Mary’s Church in the town on Saturday mornings, is anticipating an increased need for its services as the colder weather arrives and families feel the impact of increased food prices and higher energy bills.

Janet Garner, who leads the Todmorden Food Drop-in committee, thanked everybody who supported its harvest appeal and hopes people will do the same with the winter campaign by pledging to give £5 a month.

“Just £5 a month makes a huge difference to the long term stability of the food drop-in,” Janet said.

“At the moment we are feeding on average 90 people on a Saturday morning, and their families.

“We are putting together about 150 food parcels on a Saturday. That can only happen because of people’s generosity.

“Although that’s brilliant, it’s a damning indictment of the current economic and political situation.

“We know that it’s going to get worse because of the rising food prices and bills.

“On a Saturday we are having people coming in saying they are having to make a choice of heating or food. That’s diabolical.”

The food drop-in is led by a nine-strong committee and a team of 73 volunteers who give their time to perform tasks such as shopping and putting together food parcels.

“Our volunteers are from all walks of life and from all parts of the Calder Valley,” Janet said, and more would be welcome.

Support for the food drop-in is growing. Lidl supermarket in Todmorden regularly supplies bread and vegetables, Voluntary Action Calderdale has donated tinned items and Hebden Bridge Picture House has pledged its support.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to have that support,” Janet said.

On Christmas Eve, the food drop-in will be providing a hot and cold buffet lunch for the people who use its service. Tickets need to be obtained in advance.

For more information about Todmorden Food Drop-in or to make a donation, call Janet on 07948 212464 or email todfooddropin@btinternet.com.