Sunderland Carers make deposit at food bank

A Wearside foodbank welcomed a sizeable deposit from Sunderland Carers Centre this week.

Deputy Chief Executive, Amanda Brown called into the Salvation Army’s Austin House, in Southwick to donate a food parcel, which will be shared out to people who require a little short-term support with their shopping.

The Austin House foodbank was started over 20 years ago and is overseen by Salvation Army Community Manager, Graham Wharton.

He said: “It’s fantastic to receive this donation from our partners at Sunderland Carers Centre. The foodbank relies on people’s goodwill and there’s always plenty of that in Sunderland.

“The Salvation Army is part of a toolkit of support available for people who sometimes just require an element of short-term support. People can be hit by bad luck or find themselves a little short at any time and we try to make sure that they do not go without. For longer term help we can signpost to other organisations, but for immediate assistance we are here for the people who need us.”

In the last quarter, the Austin House operation issued 153 food parcels, which equates to around 5,300 meals for a family of four – vital for some of the city’s residents.

Amanda said: “While it would be fantastic if foodbanks were not needed, we are proud to be able to support the project with our donation.

“Sunderland Carers Centre’s whole reason for being in existence is to help people when they need it most, which is also the fundamental aim of the Salvation Army foodbank, so it makes perfect sense for us to help them in this small way.

“Food poverty is a real issue in parts of Sunderland, so there is something incredibly reassuring in knowing that Graham and his team are here and ready to help whenever they are required.”

Graham has seen a rise in professional people using the foodbank recently;  but is quick to point out that the facility is there for anyone in genuine need.

“We are very much a sticking plaster when it comes to addressing food poverty,” he added. “But for many people, that shortage of cash for the weekly or fortnightly shop is a short-term thing…and if we can help, we always will.

“Things like dried goods, long life milk and canned goods are ideal and while they may not have the maximum nutritional value, they do provide a family with good, warm meals until they manage to get through their rough patch.”

Anyone wishing to make a foodbank donation can do so at:

The Salvation Army
Austin House Family Centre
Shakespeare Street
Southwick
Sunderland
SR5 2 JX

Sunderland Carers’ Centre offers a confidential information, advice and support service to carers throughout the city of Sunderland (including Houghton-le-Spring, Hetton-le-Hole, Easington Lane and Washington). Services are confidential, non-judgemental and impartial and it acts as the “centrepoint” of support for all unpaid carers in Sunderland.

It is an independent, voluntary organisation, registered as a charity, and is a Network Partner of the Carers Trust, funded primarily by Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

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