Council comes to charity's aid

By a County Press reporter

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


A CHARITY on the Isle of Wight has been saved from closure after its lease unexpectedly ran out.

The Isle of Wight Foodbank was given short notice to leave its base in Somerton, near Cowes, and faced not being able to support people over Christmas — but the Isle of Wight Council has stepped in and offered the use of one of its buildings.

It has offered part of the former Love Lane Primary School site, including the school hall, classrooms and office space, which can be used to store tinned food and groceries, a council spokeswoman said.

It has a kitchen and toilets, plus off-road parking which can be used for the collection and distribution of food supplies.

Foodbank manager Hannah King said: "We are incredibly grateful to the council for stepping in and helping us out at such short notice. The Isle of Wight is very generous in donating the food items and we are excited that, with a new home, we will be able to continue to support to those in our communities who find themselves in crisis."

"Our current landlord gave us the warehouse for free for the first two years, and we've only been paying a token amount of rent since then. But it was a short term agreement, on the understanding we would have to move out if the building was sold. We are so grateful to him for his generosity over the past few years."

Deputy council leader, Cllr Steve Stubbings, said: "When Hannah approached the council to explain the problem the foodbank was facing we immediately wanted to help and, although we only had very few facilities that met its needs, it quickly became apparent the former Love Lane Primary School site would be ideal because of its location and facilities.

"We are absolutely delighted this building, which has been empty for months, will be brought back into use for the benefit of the community, something the council is extremely passionate about."

The foodbank will occupy the building under an interim lease arrangement. The council consider the terms of a longer lease in the new year.

The foodbank's centres will be open over the Chrsitmas period, although the warehouse closes on Friday.

"We have been busy making sure all our centres are stocked up for Christmas," said Hannah.

For details and opening times of the charity's centres around the Isle of Wight, click here.


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by Mike Crowe

18th December 2013, at 09:17:08

I acknowledge your post Frank

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by Frank Fletcher

18th December 2013, at 08:07:07

Mike - Food banks do not encourage a cycle of dependency. Molly Hodson from the Trussell Trust says: “Our food banks are different to American and Canadian food banks, they are an emergency service. Where there is a welfare provision, nobody should be at a point where they can’t put food on the table long term. We help people out of poverty by working with local agencies and charities for example if someone has debt problems, we put them in touch with a debt counselling charity. We want to help resolve the issues, and make sure people have a route out of poverty.”

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by Mike Crowe

17th December 2013, at 17:18:55

Kevin you will be saddened for as long as there are handouts, because for as long as there are handouts, there will be the people who see they need them.

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by Valerie Ching

17th December 2013, at 15:27:09

Yes endorse that Kevin. Well done and thanks to IW Council

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by Kevin Daniells

17th December 2013, at 14:55:17

WELL DONE I.W.C.C. However, I am still saddened that in this day and age there is a need for such a charity and all the great work that they do for Island Families.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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