Castleford food bank seeking donations post Christmas
‘Post Christmas is when those who are struggling need the most help’ says Castleford food bank coordinator.
Tim Weeks and his wife Linda are coordinators at a food bank at Smawthorne Community Church, known as Food Bank at the Link.
They specialise in helping families in the area who struggle to afford food, to do this, they rely on donations from businesses, schools, organisations and individuals.
Mr Weeks said: “At Christmas time, there’s a resurgence in donations, we can help around 30 families a week in the summer, but in winter, this number doubles.
“Some very kind people have donated, Castleford Tigers, Warburtons the Schools, supermarkets and Slimming World - just to name a few.
“It’s great that people contribute at Christmas time, it’s so nice seeing members of the communities help our less fortunate. We’re very grateful for contributors and volunteers.
“We’ve had a lovely young lad collect 329 advent calendars for those who can’t afford it this year.
“The last thing we want is for a child to feel like they’re not appreciated or that Christmas is a waste of time.”
The Food Bank are open every Friday evening. They provide families with parcels of food for families throughout the year and send them a hamper full of essentials and treats at Christmas time.
This year, volunteers helped wrap and distribute parcels to the families shortly before Christmas day.
Tim said: “We’re very grateful for all the help in the community, however, there are always people in crisis post Christmas .
“In January the bills hit low income families the hardest, once the December bills are paid, they find themselves in a heat or eat situation, which can be terrifying for people, especially with children.
“We’re very fortunate that people donate all year round, but about 2 years ago, we ran out of food to give them as soon as Christmas was over.
“It’s the same every year, in the new year we have more people coming and seeking help but less donations.
“By donating to a food bank, you could be taking the burden off parents and individuals buying food at a very scary time, throughout the months of January, February and March when bills and or debts are piling up.
“We have to remember that we’re giving back to someone who deserves as much dignity and respect as you and me, we wouldn’t turn anybody away.
“Everyone’s circumstances are different and the bread and butter of organisations like the food bank at the link is helping people and your support goes a long way.”
See their Facebook page: Food bank at the link