Foodbank gives out 10,000th parcel in battle to tackle poverty

Mark Stainburn and Deacon Sharon Dilley.
Mark Stainburn and Deacon Sharon Dilley.

A foodbank launched to tackle crisis levels of poverty in Castleford has given out enough meals to feed the town’s entire population.

Trinity Mission has made a fresh appeal for donations after volunteers handed out the 10,000th food parcel.

The organisation has also served 30,000 meals in the time it has been open after being set up to help the homeless and vulnerable.

As well as offering meals and food parcels, the Trinity Mission has a clothes store and people can also get their clothes washed and have a bath.

Coordinator Mark Stainburn said: “We have served around 30,000 meals in the time we have been open, which along with the 10,000 food parcels we have given out means we have fed the equivalent of the entire population of Castleford, and it is only possible through donations.”

On average Trinity Misson, which relies on donations and volunteers to keep going, serves 150 meals a week and hands out 73 food parcels.

Demand for food has risen each year since the mission was set up in 2012.

He said: “We are more than just a food bank and meal service, we have a clothing store, community space and we work with a housing association, Foundation Housing, which helps our guests with forms filling and accommodation issues.

“But we are also a social space, the majority who come here to have a meal get the chance to meet other people. For some it’s the main or only social interaction they have all week.”

Trinity Mission’s is urging people to make regular donations each month to pay for food parcels, which cost around £3 each and provide three meals.

Mr Stainburn said: “We’re asking people to set up a standing order to donate £3, £6, £9 or £12 a month, so they would be sponsoring up to a food parcel a week.”

Lifeline charity at town church is open to help poor and vulnerable:

Trinity Mission is a registered charity based at Trinity Methodist Church on Powell Street, Castleford.

It is open for two-course hot meals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 2pm, Sunday evenings for soup and sandwiches from 6pm to 8.30pm.

It has also started a Monday night coffee and chat event from 7.30pm to 9pm.

Lloyds Bank on Carlton Street has a collection point for tinned or other non-perishable foods.

Between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, Trinity Mission served 8,207 meals and handed out 3,987 food parcels.

To donate to Trinity Mission or find out about volunteering, e-mail Mr Stainburn at mark@trinitymission.org.uk or call 07834 770017.