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More People In Dorset Turning To Foodbanks

weymouth and portland

7:13am 27th November 2013

The number of people using foodbanks in Weymouth and Portland has doubled on last year, according to project managers.

A new hub where families can get free food packages opened on Portland yesterday at St Johns Church Hall. It'll be open from 9:30 - 11:30 on a Tuesday and Friday morning.

There are already Food Banks elsewhere across the county in Dorchester, Weymouth and Bridport. The Weymouth hub used to run in partnership with Portland until a decision was made to separate to help more people.

John Bayliff, project manager of Portland Foodbank explained why a foodbank in Portland was so important: "Weymouth has been covering Portland and they've been doing a great job trying to cover Portland and Weymouth but really it's just become more and more obvious that as the demand is increasing, its become glaringly clear that it is almost impossible for folks to get across to Weymouth on the bus especially if you have young kids to then pick up bags of food and make your way back to Portland, it's just impractical. A foodbank in Portland is really overdue so we've just reacted to demand.

"We are expecting a high demand this year as I believe Weymouth gave out around 600 vouchers last year. This year about a month ago they had already given out 1700 so the demand has more than doubled in that period. But we are ready to cope with the demand and any donations we would greatly appreciate."

The new foodbank hopes to not just give out food parcels but also wants to help build friendships and help people in other ways by referring them to other agencies like debt counselling. They are looking to link up to other agency's to make sure people have a good support network. They are hoping to set up cookery courses, budgeting courses and various other things so people can connect with other people and not feel like they are on their own.

The foodbank is appealing for any donations and they can be donated at Tesco on the Island, the foodbank itself and the Eastern Methodist Church Hall.

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