Published on 11th May 2020

Funding from Cheshire police and crime commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund has been awarded to a local foodbank who will now be able to replenish the food they have in stock and distribute it to local people in need.

Widnes Foodbank will be able to purchase a wide range of food and produce to distribute directly to local residents who are in financial hardship during the current pandemic.

The Foodbank, which usually operates from Trinity Methodist church, has seen an increase in referrals to the service since the start of the pandemic and is supporting more people than ever to access food.

Foodbanks provide three days of nutritionally balanced emergency food to those who are referred to them and their aim is to combat poverty and hunger. The Widnes group, who have been operating since 2012 with an army of more than 200 volunteers, are part of nationwide network of foodbank’s supported by the Trussell Trust. Due to the increased demand in service users, the foodbank are experiencing challenging times and reduced amounts of food.

The voluntary group will use the funds to purchase essential items to replenish stock which has been exhausted over the last five weeks and will enable them to continue to support those in crisis.

PCC David Keane said: “My Safer Communities Fund takes money from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it into local communities.

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to add further pressure onto families already experiencing food poverty. Foodbanks do a fantastic job all year round to support the most vulnerable people in our communities and ensure they do not go hungry.

“Widnes foodbank are one of many groups locally and nationally who have been able to maintain and develop their support to help those in crisis.

“The team of volunteers are working tirelessly to ensure people are supported at this challenging time and this will undoubtedly make a huge difference to those families.

Sheila Smith, treasurer of Widnes Foodbank, added: “On behalf of Widnes Foodbank please accept our sincere thanks and appreciation for your generosity and for the differences that you are helping to make in the community.

We will continue to support those who need our help and we will now be able to purchase a wider variety of products, ensuring nobody goes without food or essential items.”