An Erdington food bank which supports hundreds of local people in need is desperately seeking a new home.
The Bethany Community Food Bank, based in Orphanage Road, is facing closure after the owners of the building that houses the charitable organisation sold the the land for redevelopment.
Although the organisers of the food bank had a three year lease it contained a clause allowing early termination if the opportunity to sell the land to developers arose.
Kevin Warrington, who runs the food bank, explained how essential the service is to the hundreds of people who use it and how volunteers start at 7:30am to prepare for each day’s demand. But it isn’t just the stacking of shelves and sorting of food that takes the time of the dedicated team but the endless hours put into fundraising to cover the costs of keeping the organisation running.
A room in the busy warehouse has also recently been refurbished with a view to providing support and internet access to the users of the food bank – another essential community service provided by Bethany that will be potentially lost.
“We use a voucher scheme with clients being referred from various agencies including the Council, Police, Homestart, Housing Associations, Job Centre, local churches and local Community Groups.
“To continue to provide this essential support we need to find a new home somewhere in the nearby area.”
The Bethany Community Food Bank supplies a mix of both fresh and frozen food – including fruit and vegetables – as well as tea and coffee, toiletries and basic essentials. Where necessary they can also help provide items such as mattresses and furniture. In January 2018 they supported 938 people that presented with a variety of problems, including the unemployed, the elderly and infirm and low income workers.
A new base for the charity is essential if it is to continue its support. If you can help Kevin and the team find a new home from which to operate the service please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07703663506.
You’ll also find them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BethanyFoodbank