WHEN the Littlehampton Larder closed its doors at the end of last year, hundreds of people in the town were left in a desperate situation.
The food bank was part of the charity HOMElink, which folded due to a cash crisis. It was a vital lifeline to help people survive during a difficult financial period.
Without it, many in food poverty were left in crisis.
However, on hearing of the community’s plight and the urgent need for a replacement scheme, members of the Littlehampton Baptist Church united to start their own service.
Since launching two months ago, the group’s food bank, based in Fitzalan Road, has helped a total 226 people.
Food bank co-ordinator Hazel Cooper stressed the importance of the facility.
She said: “Littlehampton is an area of need. Since the closure of the Littlehampton Larder, last year, there has been no other facility like ours available for those in crisis.
“So we all agreed that we needed to come together and support those in food poverty.”
Since opening its own scheme, the church has collected thousands of tins of food and packets of dried fruit – so much that the current storage rooms are near bursting point.
And with demand on the increase, the church has received a grant of about £3,000 from West Sussex County Council, to rent an industrial cargo container for the surplus food. The blue container – affectionately named the Tardis by the team – will be fitted with shelves to give more space for donated food to be stored securely for those in desperate need.
And as Hazel admitted, those in need of a helping hand vary.
For the full story, read the Littlehampton Gazette.