Action Zones 

Foodbank reveals plan for new centres across Norfolk


FBSorting350The team behind Norwich foodbank has revealed its vision to see a network of foodbanks right across Norfolk, so that anyone who is in need of its crisis food service is within easy reach of one, and is appealing to churches to help it become reality. Keith Morris reports

A very successful harvest appeal, backed by the efforts of Norwich Evening News readers and ultra-athlete Alex Panayotou with her 195-mile non-stop run to Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium, has seen Norwich foodbank overwhelmed with 12 tonnes of food and donations. And now the Christian charity is looking for church partners to help it expand right across Norfolk
Norwich foodbank project manager, Grant Habershon, said: “Our vision is to see a foodbank within easy reach of anyone in the county that may need one. Norwich foodbank is being brilliantly supported. What we want is that people in Cromer or Yarmouth for example also have somewhere to turn
“As a minimum we would like to see five foodbanks across Norfolk in places like Great Yarmouth, Cromer and South Norfolk, alongside the existing ones in Norwich and King’s Lynn. If other towns or villages want a foodbank, then fantastic
The Norwich Foodbank is already having an effect beyond Norwich within one year of opening.
“Food has come in from all over the county,” said Grant. “This includes schools from Cromer, Banham, Loddon, Dereham and Reepham and churches from Overstrand, Mattishall, Tipton, Paston, Hockering, Sea Palling and Wells. They also had a wonderful harvest collection from Wayland Prison
“This incredible response is allowing us to push ahead with plans to open additional distribution centres for foodboxes, both in Norwich and now further afield”
Grant and the team are now keen to speak to churches and communities outside of the city which are interested in becoming one of the distribution centres or would like help and encouragement in setting up their own foodbank and joining the Trussell Trust foodbank network
“It is great if towns can set up their own foodbank and join the Trussell Trust network. King’s Lynn has just set one up and Thetford and Gunton will soon be doing the same.  However many areas may not have the resources to do this or may need help and encouragement
Wymondham Rotary Club recently contacted Norwich foodbank to see how a distribution centre could be set up in their town. Local churches in the town got behind this cause and a distribution centre operating from Wymondham Baptist Church will be launched later this year”
Churches Together in Diss and Harleston are very keen to get involved and may start by linking to the Norwich warehouse bringing food in and taking parcels out while working towards a longer term goal of setting up a south Norfolk Foodbank. Discussions are also taking place with churches in Swaffham, Dereham and Stalham
In Norwich itself foodbank will be opening a new distribution centre for their food boxes at Witard Road Baptist Church at Heartsease in November and another one at Eternity Christian Centre in West Earlham in December
You can quickly donate up to £10 to foodbanks by sending a text message reading “FBUK11” to 70070, which will be split evenly between Norwich foodbank and the Trussell Trust


Reproduced from the Network Norfolk website. Used with permission.