And in a desperate bid to keep the important community service alive, volunteers from Amble Foodbank are making an appeal for help to try to find a new venue, before it’s too late.
The foodbank was started more than four years ago by the late Alan Rapley who, as a result of volunteering at the Amble CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau), saw many people requiring help following a drastic change in their circumstances, such as a sudden redundancy or death of the breadwinner in a family.
Since forming, the service has played a crucial part in helping vulnerable and needy members in the town and surrounding areas. But the current location that the food bank uses for storage and packing the food parcels will soon no longer be available and those involved are desperate to find new premises, quickly.
If an alternative facility cannot be found, it is feared that the Amble Foodbank will cease.
Mary Rapley, from the foodbank, said: “The foodbank has been hosted by two different Amble shop owners for which the team is very grateful as they have made available a spare room in their premises for the storage and packing of the food parcels.
“The room currently used is now required by the owner, hence the need to find alternative premises very quickly.
“The foodbank team is sure that someone in Amble has a spare room that could be made available for the foodbank. It needs to be secure, able to be accessed twice a week and mouse-free! Clients do not come to this resource as parcels are distributed via Amble CAB or Amble Youth Project after referral by the appropriate agencies.”
Amble Mayor Jane Dargue expressed her concern at the situation and hoped an alternative premises can be found. She said: “If nothing is found it looks increasingly likely that the Amble Foodbank will have to close.
“This is something that is still very much a lifeline for some members of the community (CAB, GP referral only) and it would be very sad if it were to close for lack of a small room being available.”
The foodbank is particularly important at Christmas time. In a previous story about Northumberland foodbanks , the Gazette reported that the number of parcels distributed by the Amble service trebled over the festive period compared to other times of the year.
If anyone can help with suitable alternative premises, call Mary on 01665 714870.