Tameside foodbank seeking new warehouse issues winter warning

A FOODBANK in Tameside has warned it may “find it hard” to support people this winter after struggling to find a new home for its warehouse.

Tameside South and Longdendale Foodbank said it was served an eviction notice earlier this year and has just two weeks to find an alternative space, after a last-minute deal fell through.

Trustees, staff and volunteers were left shocked when the charity was unexpectedly asked by the current building’s owners to leave.

The foodbank warns that failure to find alternative premises risks its ability to continue as normal over the busy winter period.

Hyde Newton councillor Hugh Roderick, a trustee at the foodbank, said: “The warehouse is essential to the running of our three distribution centres as they lack the storage required to meet the need that we have seen explode over the last year.

Foodbank volunteers help sort donations at TSLF’s warehouse near Hyde

“It is deeply disappointing that at a time when our demand is so high, and with the hard winter months still to come, we have been put in this position. If we cannot find a long-term solution soon, we will find it hard to meet the great need of our community.”

The charity has urged people to get in touch if they know of any affordable and fully-accessible warehouse spaces within three miles of Hyde which can accommodate HGVs.

The announcement follows the foodbank’s warning that it will need to spend £30,000 on food this winter to keep people fed – a record amount. This summer, almost 60 per cent of emergency food given to those in need was bought from supermarkets instead of donated.

Susan Ayers, manager and trustee at the foodbank, said: “It looks like it might be a grim winter at the foodbank as the cost of living continues to expose and exacerbate issues in Tameside. Over the last six months, the number of food parcels we have given out has increased by 50 per cent compared to last.

“We estimate that we will have to spend around £30,000 on food this winter to prevent people going hungry in Hyde, Hattersley and Hollingworth – something we can’t sustain – so if you can spare anything at all, please donate and we can keep people fed.”

According to the foodbank, over a third of people supported last year were children and the number of people in full or part-time work needing support has increased dramatically in recent months.

The foodbank added that, despite cost-of-living pressures and soaring food prices, people have continued to donate a generous amount of food, thanking them for their generosity.

Councillor Jaqueline Owen urged people to donate to the foodbank to ensure struggling families in her Longdendale ward are supported through winter.

She said: “The work of the Trussell Trust is a lifeline to many in Longdendale and people who have previously not needed to access services, such as a foodbank, are now in a position of having to.

“This is due to the pandemic and the continued increasing cost of living. This situation will not improve over the winter months, as government help towards energy costs will cease for many.

“In collaboration with Mottram Cricket Club, we have recently raised £270 and donated food to the foodbank, but sadly this is only a small part of what is needed and so I encourage you all, if you are able, to make a donation of money or food, maybe in lieu of Christmas cards, to this very worthy cause.”

To find out more about Tameside South and Longdendale Foodbank, including how to donate, visit the charity’s website.

To contact the foodbank with suggested warehouse locations, contact manager@tamesidesouthlongdendale.foodbank.org.uk

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