King’s Lynn charities cook up new plans to help those in need

Food Bank Partnership event with the Red Cross KL Austin Fields. FLtoR Aden Whittle. Alan Bunn. Julie Cox. Kat Taylor. Jim Tripp. ANL-151126-165727009
Food Bank Partnership event with the Red Cross KL Austin Fields. FLtoR Aden Whittle. Alan Bunn. Julie Cox. Kat Taylor. Jim Tripp. ANL-151126-165727009
0
Have your say

Cookery courses and school holiday clubs are among a new range of services being developed by the King’s Lynn Foodbank, the group has revealed.

Officials from the charity, which is based at the British Red Cross centre on Austin Fields, say demand for their services is still continuing to rise.

And they hope the new initiatives, which were unveiled to representatives of church groups and other community organisations on Thursday, can support even more people in need.

Alan Bunn, area support manager for the British Red Cross in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, said: “We’re working together to reach more vulnerable people.”

The Red Cross already refers people who use its services to the Foodbank where necessary and workers from its Older Persons Outreach Service are registered to issue food vouchers to those in need.

The two charities are now planning to begin a programme of cookery courses for service users in the new year.

They hope the initiative will raise awareness of the nutritional value of foods and encourage people to eat more healthily, despite their limited incomes.

Researchers have repeatedly argued in recent years that the comparatively high cost of healthy foods means people on low incomes are more likely to choose cheaper, but less nutritionally valuable alternatives.

But Mr Bunn said: “It’s about making sure they’re buying the right foods. Fruit and vegetables aren’t that expensive in real terms.

“It’s about helping them to understand how they can better spend what bit of money they do have.”

The groups have also developed a Fun and Food In School Holidays (FISH) programme to support children who receive free school meals in term time, but whose parents can struggle to cope during the holidays.

The Trussell Trust, the charity which leads the national network of Foodbanks, says it recorded a sharp rise in the number of emergency referrals during the summer holidays in 2014, compared to the preceding three months.

And, across Norfolk as a whole, around a third of more than 9,000 emergency food supplies were given to children.

A similar initiative was established in Norwich earlier this year. The first event of its kind in Lynn is set to take place later this month.

Although Foodbank use in Lynn remains high, officials fear the true scale of need in the town and surrounding areas could be far higher.

Community workers attending the partnership session were urged to continue to refer people in crisis to the Foodbank for support.

The Red Cross says many of the people it supports often face financial problems, including being able to buy enough food.