New Mexborough Foodbank opens for those on the breadline

Sean Gibbons, Food Aware CIC Managing Director pictured with Factory Foods manageress Carol Mullins at the launch of the partnership between the store and Mexborough Food Bank. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 04-11-14 Factory Foods MC 1
Sean Gibbons, Food Aware CIC Managing Director pictured with Factory Foods manageress Carol Mullins at the launch of the partnership between the store and Mexborough Food Bank. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 04-11-14 Factory Foods MC 1

A foodbank has been launched in a Doncaster town to help residents struggling on the breadline.

Project leaders received a cash windfall of £1000 from the Lloyds Bank Community Fund and opened the Mexborough Foodbank on Friday (November 28).

For a donation of £2.50 those struggling to make ends meet will be able to get a food hamper, containing tins and packets of food, along with fruit and vegetables.

Project leader Sean Gibbons, 40, of Park Road, Mexborough, said: “There are scores of people in Mexborough who will benefit from this.

“It is sad in this day and age that it has come to this where we need foodbanks, but needs must.

“There are people out there struggling to feed themselves and their children due to a poor employment opportunities and benefits cutbacks.”

The father-of-two hopes to offer each person a hamper of food that will last two to three days and contain tins of beans and soup, packets of pasta, tea, coffee, fruit and vegetables.

He added there would be 20 packages offered a week at first and he hopes to increase numbers as the project progresses.

There could be an extra 50 for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

He added: “The idea of asking people to donate a small amount is to keep the project going. It will all be put back into buying products to help ensure the scheme has a long term future. It will be a good deal for those coming to us as well as the food packages will be cheap.”

He added he would speak to representatives at the job centre and children’s centre and ask for them to refer people they thought were in need. They will also consider self-referrals, so long as people can sufficiently prove they need a food hamper.

Mr Gibbons said this checking procedure would help to reduce potential problems which could put the foodbank in jeopardy.

He added: “We had a foodbank in Denaby but we had people doing smash and grabs, taking the food when they were not really deserving of it. But this time we hope that people will be given a ticket by professional bodies to prove they are in need. If people can refer themselves and bring with them their benefits slips then our volunteers will be willing to help.”

He said some food packages will be sourced through his company Food Aware, which takes in unwanted food from supermarkets and distributes it to the needy.

This will be the seventh foodbank he has helped to set up across South Yorkshire.

It will be based at the Food Factory base in Pastures Road, Mexborough, which is also donating food packages. People will be able to drop in to enquire about hampers each Friday from 11am to 1pm.