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‘Bridging the gap’ with food parcels

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

By HELEN KREFT

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THE homeless and those going through hardship in East Staffordshire are being given an extra lifeline following the creation of a joint partnership.

For the first time, three agencies - Burton Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army and Burton YMCA - have got together to collate information, regarding the distribution of food parcels in East Staffordshire. These agencies have been doing this work for years, but it is only recently that the idea was muted to join forces, to inform the public of the problem.

Vic Wileman, a member of Burton Salvation Army, said: “East Staffordshire CVS called a meeting to set up a food bank. The Salvation Army, the soup kitchen and Burton YMCA attended. We all, obviously, already provide food parcels so the idea was made to join together and supply food to people who are going through hard times. We don’t want them to be dependent on us but we will all bridge the gap on food supplies.”

Last month, a total of 138 food parcels were made and distributed in East Staffordshire, where 123 adults and 55 juniors were helped.

Mick Cramp, of Burton Soup Kitchen, which is based at the Salvation Army’s Mosley Street citadel, said: “Maybe we aren’t as busy as some towns, but is this just the tip of the ice berg? How many people drop through the net, because of various reasons?”

Paul Laffey, chief executive of Burton YMCA, said: “We work very closely with local schools and churches who keep us supplied with food, but demand has been outstripping supply. We have made several appeals for larger donations and the community has responded generously. We are also in discussions with another local voluntary group who will be helping us meet demand.”

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