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The future of St Albans foodbank is up in the air

 Published on: 3rd October 2018   |   By: Rebecca Dundon   |   Category: Uncategorized

More than a thousand children from St Albans who have been relying on the local foodbank could see their source cut off. 

The St Albans and District Foodbank is urgently looking for a new home after the owners at its current unit in Harpenden asked for the space back.

It comes as new figures show an 18 per cent increase in demand as families struggle to put food on the table. 

The organisation was set up in 2014 to provide emergency food for people and families on low-incomes or benefits.

It also provides a ‘local hub’ service and visits five areas around the district including estates in New Greens, Cotton Mill and Cell Barnes Lane. 

In a statement on its Facebook page the group said “We have fed 2,876 local people in the last year of which over 1,300 were children. This represents an 18 per cent increase in the number of people fed vs the previous 12 months” The main reasons given for needing emergency food are benefits changes and debt.

Now organisers are looking for a bigger space to use as a warehouse but are concerned over high rent rates. 

A spokeswoman for the Foodbank told StAlbansNews: “We were very busy during the school holidays this year, up 30 per cent on the same time as last year. There is still a real need for a local food bank as so many people are waiting for their Universal Credit to be sorted out.

“Rent is also a big worry as we have limited funds but need a bigger space to work from and there’s concern that St Albans is too pricey.”

Along with concerns over their future the group are now asking for donations for the Harvest Festival period which they say is their busiest time of the year. They are also asking for non-food items including toiletries, laundry, cleaning items and toilet rolls.

Fundraising efforts are now underway after a team was put together to ensure the move goes smoothly and a new warehouse space is found quickly. Volunteers are looking for a unit space from between 750 and 1,200 square feet with ground floor access, which is also suitable for deliveries and loading.  

The St Albans foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust’s network of 428 foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger in communities across the UK.

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