Foodbank calls for local storage room

Eastwood Volunteer Bureau, pictured is foodbank co-ordinator Marlene Seagrave
Eastwood Volunteer Bureau, pictured is foodbank co-ordinator Marlene Seagrave

The foodbank at Eastwood Volunteer Bureau is on the lookout for extra storage space.

Foodbank co-ordinator Marlene Seargrave appealed through the Advertiser for extra space earlier this year, but nobody came forward.

Over the eight years it has been running, the foodbank has grown out of its current storage room at the bureau.

Ms Seagrave said: “We’re still looking for somewhere.

“I’ve been to council meetings and have stood up and spoke to the councillors to try and find somewhere.

“We started small eight years ago but it’s grown over time.

“Come October for Harvest Festival, we are inundated with food, which is great because it keeps us going for the following year, but we don’t have enough space to store it.

“It would be just lovely if we could get a place near us. But it needs to be free and secure, preferably with shutters and an alarm, so it’s quite difficult to find somewhere.

“If a businessman owns an empty warehouse or something that would be perfect,” she said.

The bureau did have one offer, but it was not secure enough and was not in Eastwood.

Eastwood Volunteer Bureau gives away about 25 bags of food a week to families living on the breadline and those on benefits.

They get donations of food from all of the local churches, as well as the local supermarkets, but staff need somewhere to store it all in order to be able to carry on helping the people of Eastwood.

Warburtons in Eastwood donates fresh bread twice a week.

There are baskets in Sainsburys, in Kimberley, and Morrisons, in Eastwood, for customer donations, while the Tesco Express at Hilltop has started giving the bureau food that would otherwise go to waste.

“Every Tuesday morning, they give us produce that’s left over from Monday evenings. We are very grateful. It’s a real treat to have fresh pastries,”, said Marlene.

But not everybody treats the service with the respect it deserves.

“Someone told us recently there was someone selling the food we had given them in the Wellington pub,” she said.

“We also heard someone else was selling it on a bus.

“We have had this before but thankfully it doesn’t happen a lot.

“If they are on drugs they will sell anything to make money.

“Or they might have a bill to pay – you don’t know what difficulties people are in. If they are on basic jobseekers allowance and they have rent to come out, you don’t have a lot of money left.”

The bureau gives out up to 70 bags a week at Christmas time.

Eastwood Volunteer Bureau also offers a transport service and a befriending service.

Manager Sue Bagshaw gave up the second hand furniture service last year after a decrease in demand for it.

“You can buy furniture so cheaply in Ikea and places like that. And the donations we were getting were not really up to standard,” she added.