Ron Hogg helps pack bags at local food bank (Northern Echo photo)
VOLUNTEERS at a foodbank collection centre received an extra helping hand as they provided festive cheer for needy families.
Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, paid a visit to see the work of the Consett Foodbank, on Christmas Eve.
He said the efforts of the volunteers at foodbanks, like the Medomsley Road centre, has particularly come to his attention following publication of a recent MPs’ report into the surge in demand for their hand-outs.
He called in at the foodbank, which has re-located into larger premises at Glenroyd House, the original Phileas Fogg crisp factory, to talk to the volunteers and their clients.
The special visitor also rolled up his sleeves to help pack some of the food parcels, which include a few festive “extras” over and above the usual allocation of three-days’ meals supply, plus snacks.
Mr Hogg said it brought home to him the plight of some families, and their gratitude for such timely assistance, to help them get through festive period.
Margaret Nealis, co-founder and secretary of the foodbank, said: “He’s had a look at our stock, talked to volunteers and clients and even helped with the parcel packing.”
She said Mr Hogg saw at first hand the necessity for the donated food items, and how such an operation is mounted.
About 20 “clients” took advantage of the help offered by the foodbank on Wednesday, giving them sufficient food supply to last until beyond Boxing Day.
Although a few meat joints and chickens were donated late last week, they were all taken up prior to Christmas Eve.
The foodbank will reopen after the long Christmas weekend on Monday (December 29), running all next week, apart from New Year’s Day (Thursday), between 10am and 12-noon.
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Posted on Monday 29th December 2014