Bid to set up food bank for the town

A volunteer filling up a bag with food  at the Bradford Food bank. A proposal has been made to start one in Todmorden
A volunteer filling up a bag with food at the Bradford Food bank. A proposal has been made to start one in Todmorden

A FOOD bank could be set up to help Todmorden residents who are finding it difficult to cope with difficult economic times.

Todmorden Labour Party have put forward the idea of developing a food bank but are stressing that this would be a community and not a party political initiative.

Last night Todmorden Town Councillors were due to discuss a proposal that the council’s amenities committee hosts development of the project with the aim of being up and running to distribute food in time for Christmas.

Steph Booth of Todmorden Labour Party said 26.5 per cent of households in the Todmorden Town Council area were in receipt of Council Tax benefit according to Calderdale Council figures and there was also anecdotal evidence that some families were finding it hard to make ends meet at a tough economic time

“Costs of food will be rising and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there that people are struggling to feed their families for now, and it’s going to get worse,” she said.

Food banks operate by providing a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis, with food boxes containing UHT or powdered milk, sugar, a carton of fruit juice, soup, pasta sauces, tinned sponge pudding, tinned tomatoes, cereals, tinned rice pudding, tea bags and instant coffee, instant mash potato, rice or pasta, tinned meat and fish, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, jam and biscuits or snack bars, she said.

These would be distributed on the basis of a needs assessment which would involve working with the statutory authorities such as social services, health visitors, GPs and Age UK who would refer people to the food bank - this was how 200 food banks already open in other parts of the country operate, said Mrs Booth.

A working party, made up from various relevant organisations within Todmorden, would have to be set up to advise on and direct the creation of a sustainable food bank. Premises would need to be secured and volunteers needed, with a mission to meet the immediate needs of those in hardship, says a briefing document for the council meeting.