Fund support for foodbank to continue

Alan Bailey, re:store outreach manager, has welcomed the funding news.
Alan Bailey, re:store outreach manager, has welcomed the funding news.

Funding from a scheme supporting some of the most vulnerable people in Skegness has been secured for another year.

Doubt had been raised over the future of the Lincolnshire Community Assistance Scheme which helps people in the county in financial crisis.

Now following a Government review, it has been announced that the funding will continue until at least April 2016.

Money from the scheme, which is managed by Lincolnshire County Council, provides a vital source of support for foodbank service users in Skegness.

Doubt over future funding came at time when record numbers were using the the foodbank based at the Storehouse church in North Parade.

Alan Bailey, who manages the re:store outreach service, said: “This is a big relief. There has been a lot of lobbying at different levels so it is good that the funding can continue for another year.

He added: “Based on the need that is there, we would have been forced to scale down what we give if the assistance was not available and been a lot more stringent.”

“Fortunately, we recieve a lot of food parcel donations from local people which are a big part of the help we provide.”

A record 1,476 people used the foodbank in 2013-14 amounting to 14,841 meals and the figure is expected to be even higher for the previous 12 months.

The county council is providing £918,000 within the 2015/16 budget for the community assistance scheme, which funds food, clothes, essential household items and heating or lighting costs for people in financial need.

The Storehouse is planning to establish a debt centre next year with the support of Jobcentre Plus in Skegness.

Mr Bailey said: “The idea is that the debt centre can help tackle the underlying financial problems and joblessness that lead to food poverty.”