11:41 Tuesday 09 April 2013

Coordinator needed for Bishop's Stortford Food Bank

Written byNATALIE DEARMAN

From left: Pat Crosby, Jenny Klincke, Odette Morgan, Julia Horner, Mione Goldspink and Geraldine Rumble. From left: Pat Crosby, Jenny Klincke, Odette Morgan, Julia Horner, Mione Goldspink and Geraldine Rumble.

A PERMANENT coordinator is being sought for the Food Bank service in Bishop’s Stortford.

The scheme, which provides emergency food to families and individuals in crisis, was launched at the beginning of February and has already helped 60 people across the town.

For the past two months the role of acting coordinator has been taken on by Mione Goldspink and now that the service has found it’s feet, a permanent volunteer is needed to oversee the running of it.

Mione said: “We are currently a satellite of the Harlow Food Bank and we follow the Trussell Trust procedures, so people will only be given food if they come with proper food vouchers. These can be obtained from organisations such as CAB or the Housing Association, or other professionals in the town.

“The amount of food given is sufficient for three days. It is supposed to be enough to tide people over until their crisis has been resolved. If the crisis persists then an individual will be allowed up to two more vouchers.”

The food is given out at the Methodist Church in South Street, every weekday from 10am until 12.30pm, where a team of 40 volunteers take turns to man the distribution centre.

All donated food is processed in Harlow, where their Food Bank has a huge warehouse and sorting centre. They pack the boxes and a delivery is made to Bishop’s Stortford once a week.

However, in the next few months the relationship with Harlow will be reviewed to see if the Stortford service will continue as a satellite or become independent.

Mione continued: “It would be a major step to find premises for a warehouse and sorting centre in Stortford and very expensive. But, if the need for the services of the Food Bank becomes greater, becoming independent would have to be considered. Whatever happens, the Bishop’s Stortford Food Bank now needs a permanent coordinator. This voluntary post is both challenging and rewarding and it involves about 20 hours per week. We are appealing for interested applicants to come forward.”

If you are not able to give your time but would still like to support the service you can do so through food and financial donations which can be dropped off at the Baptist Church in Twyford Road, between 10am and 11.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Alternatively, you can leave them at the Methodist Church during the Food Bank’s opening hours.

For further information, or to discuss the coordinator position, contact Mione on (01279) 656634.

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