Holidays

Temporary school holiday foodbank set up in Fairford with a permanent branch in the pipeline (From Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard)

A TEMPORARY foodbank will be running in Fairford this month to support families who rely on free school meals, while a permanent branch is also in the works.

The summer service, which launched today (August 3), will be stationed at Fairford Primary School from 1pm until 2.30pm on Thursdays throughout the month.

It is a branch of Cirencester Foodbank (CFB), which operates out of Ashcroft Road Church, and also has another permanent branch in Tetbury, which started last year.

Rachel Brindley, project manager of CFB, praised Fairford Primary School for accommodating the summer sessions.

“The school were keen for us to help some of their families through the holidays,” she said.

“It’s quite long to go without, especially if you are struggling.”

She said her and her team of volunteers were “really pleased” with how well the first session went.

“We had lots of support from local Fairford volunteers. The local community helping the local community is what it’s all about.”

What’s more, Rachel is working to set up a permanent Fairford branch, which she hopes will be finalised before the end of the school holidays.

Currently, residents in need from Fairford and Lechlade have to travel to the Cirencester foodbank.

Over the last 12 months, CFB has helped more than 2,700 people, thanks to the work of over 100 volunteers and 20 tonnes of food donated by local residents and businesses.

Rachel said it costs around £18,000 a year to run, much of which comes from charity, whilst handouts rely on food donations.

She said the amount of people using the service had also doubled over the last 12 months.

“We always need more food donating. What we get in, we send out. We keep about 30 days stock at a time. We are always grateful to everybody who donates.”

Rachel, who has worked at the Cirencester Foodbank, which opened in 2012, for two years, said the rise in demand is because: “We’re reaching more people. We’re uncovering more pockets of need.”

Last month CFB was awarded £2,500 from The Screwfix Foundation to help with running costs.

According to the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of foodbanks across the UK, 40 per cent of parents worry about extra costs of paying for childcare this summer.

What’s more, one in five will skip a meal or more to feed their kids.

In order to access support from a foodbank, individuals and families are referred by frontline professionals, including Citizens Advice Bureaus, GPs, schools and charities.

Fairford users can contact Rev’d Caroline Symcox, of St Mary’s Church on 01285 712467 regarding vouchers for the new service.

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