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Flegg Area Foodbank sees demand triple this winter

3rd February 2023

A foodbank in rural Norfolk has seen demand triple this winter
Flegg Area Foodbank, which is run from its headquarters in Martham, delivers food parcels to people in the villages around Great Yarmouth
Reverend Dr Steven Sivyer, Team Rector at Flegg Parish Churches, which set up the charity in 2019, said: "In the second half of December, we've tripled the number of people we're supporting, and still more are coming in almost every day"
This week, the charity will deliver food parcels to 33 households
Donations are left at drop-off points around the villages before a team of 15 to 20 volunteers helps to sort and deliver the parcels
The foodbank serves people in Martham, Horsey, Somerton, Winterton, Repps with Bastwick, Thurne, Clippesby, Rollesby, Ormesby, Hemsby, Scratby, Billockby, Stokesby, Filby, Mautby and Runham
People are either referred to the service by agencies like DIAL or they can self-refer
The charity started as Martham Foodbank in October 2019
Dr Sivyer said: "When I was doing the harvest for Martham Academy, we used to give all the food to the Salvation Army foodbank
"The principal of the school said it was good we were doing that but there were people who also need food and they can't get to Great Yarmouth to pick up large supplies of food"
The reverend then had discussions with church leaders in Martham and they planned to open their own foodbank


Food donations are sorted and bagged at Flegg Area Foodbank's base in Martham. (Image: Daniel Hickey)

The plans were quite advanced when the pandemic hit in early 2020
Dr Sivyer said: "Very quickly, it was apparent that people who were in need were not just from Martham"
Because of the pandemic, rather than opening a base where people could pick up food, the charity delivered to them
"When we came out of the pandemic, we realised the method of delivering food was the right model because if people had to get to the base, they would have trouble getting here," Dr Sivyer said
"But it also became apparent, particularly toward the end of last year, that there were people in the villages who did not realise that Martham Foodbank was supporting them, hence the change of name"
The foodbank is constantly updating its list of wanted items. For more information, visit their website:
 This article first appeared on the Great Yarmouth Mercury website


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