Friday, 14 December 2012

Spirit of Christmas alive and well in Ashton in Makerfield

Nobody in Ashton in Makerfield should have to go without food this Christmas thanks to the incredible generosity of local church goers in the town.

A Food bank scheme launched in September is gearing up for the festive period, providing food and drink to hard-up families who would otherwise have to go hungry.

The church going community's donations has exceeded expectations and I joined Andrew Bullen (Oasis Community Food Bank Co-ordinator) today to publicise the food bank’s presence in the town.  

The non-perishable items, which vary from cereal, coffee, tea to tinned fruit/soups and pasta sauces, will be distributed from the Food bank’s stall (provided free by Wigan Council) located on Ashton Market to anyone in dire need of help.

Supported by local churches of various denominations has allowed the food bank to operate every Friday morning. Together with the food donations from the recent Harvest Festivals, Andrew Bullen expects donations to cover the festive period.

The Food bank is open to residents who live in the Ashton, North Ashton, Garswood, Bryn and Golborne areas of the Borough.

Recipients are referred to the food bank by partner organisations that have identified them as being in crisis such as;

• Job Centre Plus
• Wigan Independent Advisory Centre (WIAC)
• Wigan & Leigh Citizens Advice Bureau
• Ashton Clinic
• Police
• Local GPs

It is not intended that recipients will become permanently dependent upon the scheme; each entitled to a maximum of three parcels while their present emergency situation is addressed.

It's a sad reflection on the state of our economy that food banks are needed in 21st century Britain and for many people this Christmas will be a difficult time.

I was delighted to meet with volunteers to hear more about their important work helping families in need.  Christmas is a time for families to come together and celebrate, but the reality is that many people are suffering as the poor economic outlook continues to bite.

Andrew Bullen, Oasis Food Bank Co-ordinator said, “We are extremely grateful to Yvonne for the support she gave to us in getting the Food bank off the ground and for the further help, advice and donations she has given that have played a part in our success."

“And of course without the wonderful weekly donations that continue to be provided by the local church members, none of this would have been possible.”

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