It’s hard to believe that in 21st Century Britain there are families so strapped for cash that they can’t even afford to put food on the table. Or that they have to rely on the generosity of others just to keep going.
But it’s not news to the volunteers of the Warrington Food Pantry who have made it their mission to help as many such families as they can.
Families in need
Founded in November 2019, the charity it is a coalition of five separate depots: West Warrington, Latchford, Cinnamon Brow, Lymm and Golborne with each helping families in need from their own area.
One of the organisers is Bernie Simcock who, as well as looking after the West Warrington area, does a lot of the buying of the various supplies needed to fill each parcel.
Commenting on our £375 donation she said: “This is amazing. We are very grateful to have been nominated. This money will help buy much needed food and other items for people who have not got anything.
“We try to meet the need where we see it and donations of both cash and goods have gone down because of the pandemic. Your generous gift will be of great help.”
The charity distributes dozens of bags a week to families right across the area filled with foodstuffs, toiletries and cleaning materials.
Some of the goods are donated by the public and the rest purchased by Bernie and other volunteers from cash donations.
She said: “There is no specific amount of stuff in each parcel – a family in need will obviously get more than a person living alone – but the average is £25 and it’s enough to tide them over until they can get additional help from elsewhere.
“We are distributing dozens a week, including to people who have just lost their jobs because of coronavirus, and we only expect it to get worse when furloughs end and people find their job is no longer there.”
The charity was nominated by Tom Holmes who said: “In the past I myself have experienced what it’s like not to know when or where your next meal will come from and I know what it’s like to give up your portion just so your children can go to bed with full stomachs, I feel that people working within the food charity are literally saving people’s lives.
“I have nominated the charity as all over Warrington people have been experiencing food crisis and financial hardship due to these unprecedented times and many people have lost their jobs.”