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Cash crisis casting shadow over the future of Grantham Foodbank

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

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A lack of finances is casting a shadow over the future of Grantham Foodbank.

While the voluntary emergency service for individuals and families in crisis is not short of donations of food, it is predicting a cash-crisis in the near future.

And this could force Grantham Foodbank to cease running the service from its current St Catherine's Road premises.

Brian Hanbury, project co-ordinator, told granthampeople: "We don't ask for donations of money, just food.

"We are doing fine financially at the moment, but we estimate that within eight months we won't have enough money to carry on where we are.

"At the same time, we estimate that by this time next year our workload will double -so there will be even more need for the foodbank service."

Mr Hanbury explained that the foodbank, which launched in July 2011, was given six months' free use of the St Catherine's Road premises for warehousing and distribution, followed by a further six months at £300 rent a month.

But since the end of July the service has had to pay £500 a month rent, plus running costs, for the building.

The substantial outlay has been possible thanks to individual donations and the generosity of local company Quality Furniture, which has pledged £5,000 a year for three years.

The service, which has 130 volunteers, is now actively seeking suitable new premises which can used free of charge.

Alternatively, new sources of substantial income will have to be forthcoming.

Mr Hanbury explained: "It may be that we have to operate out of a church premises or similar - there are 101 permutations - but even if we ended up running it from a shed the service will continue in Grantham."

The news comes not only on World Food Day but also shortly after Grantham Foodbank had its second busiest day since it launched.

"Last Friday was our second busiest day ever, with 22 clients arriving in a two-hour period.

"Our busiest was about three months ago when we saw 32 clients in the same time period.

"We have only been open 15 months and have helped 1,600 local people so far, including over 500 children, handing out 14,500 tonnes of food," added Mr Hanbury.

Grantham foodbank was set up under the auspices of Churches Together in Grantham and district to provide emergency help to local people in crisis. It is one of more than 260 such organisations set up through a franchaise agreement with the Trussell Trust.

Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureaux and police identify people in crisis and issue a foodbank voucher.

Grantham Foodbank then provides a three day supply of food. However, if the crisis persists up to three sets of food - nine days in total - can be supplied.

Anyone who can help Grantham Foodbank by offering premises free of charge or funding can contact Mr Hanbury on 07816872561.

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