14th Oct, 2019

Soaring demand sees foodbank on the move

Worcester Editorial 25th Feb, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

THE SEARCH is on for a new home for the city’s foodbank after its manager admitted their current base was struggling to cope with increasing demand.

Worcester Foodbank, which distributes emergency food parcels to desperate families and individuals, has been situated in Carden Close since it opened its doors in June 2012.

Centre manager Grahame Lucas said he did not expect how much the charity would take off as he revealed they had already fed more than 10,000 people living in crisis.

The centre has received more than 80 tonnes of food from churches, schools, businesses and the general public, which Mr Lucas said had helped them keep pace with the growing numbers of people looking to use the service.

However, he told The Observer they were beginning to outgrow their premises and said they were now in the process of looking for a new home in the city centre.

“We anticipated that the foodbank would grow, but not to the extent that it has done,” Mr Lucas said.

“We have been registered with one or two local commercial agents for six or nine months and we have had precious little from that. I have had a foray into a couple of properties, but they have not been suitable for a number of reasons, so we are still in the process of looking.

“We are not in a hurry as we have got a brilliant landlord who is extremely supportive of the work we are doing. But we do need to move at some stage.”

He added: “Ideally, we need to try and stay in the area we are in as it is reasonably close to the transport hub in the centre of Worcester and it is reasonably well known.

“We also need somewhere which is discrete as people do come to us with a degree of embarrassment.”

Mr Lucas said they were hoping to find a place which had better access for people in wheelchairs and families with pushchairs as he admitted the centre was too crammed.

“We need a little bit more space to greet people as we have got a small room at the moment,” Mr Lucas said. “If we have more than two or three clients it can get crowded and that prevent you from having a confidential conversation.

“Access is also difficult because our greeting area is on the first floor at the top of a narrow steep stairway, so we are looking to resolve those problems as well.”

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