Penrith food bank gets visit from VIP to see support offered
published on 8 Jul 2022
High Sheriff of Cumbria visits our Penrith corps to see what life is like at a food bank
Our Penrith corps has hosted the High Sheriff of Cumbria, showing what life is like on the front line amidst the cost of living crisis.
Facilitating a visit to its food bank in Penrith, the corps' community support worker Heather Watson showed the High Sheriff what items go into a food parcel and demonstrated the intensity of referrals they are receiving on a weekly basis as more people sink into poverty.
During the worst cost of living crisis for a generation, the High Sheriff, Mr Alan McViety, spoke to volunteers at the food bank, saw how the food bank is stocked and operates and chatted to people who were attending the church’s weekly coffee morning and lunch club. He said: “I was grateful for The Salvation Army hosting my wife and I at the Penrith church.
“My overall impression was that The Salvation Army in Penrith provides a safe place for anyone in need in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. I was particularly impressed by the premises and the services that are available to the community, especially the much-needed food bank.”
The leaders of our Penrith corps recently revealed the extent of its food bank activity in Penrith, with more than 1,211 referrals in the month of April alone, when the energy price cap rocketed around the country.
Major Carole Donaldson, church leader of The Salvation Army in Penrith said: “We really appreciated Mr McViety and his wife, Marie, taking the time out of their busy schedule to come and see what we do to help the most vulnerable members of our local community and chat to some of our volunteers. Our food bank is a big support to many and something that we couldn’t run without the help of volunteers, so a high profile visit certainly boosts morale.
“The cost of living crisis is affecting all areas of our local communities and we’re here to help and offer support to anyone in need, whether that is through our food bank, our coffee mornings offering a warm and safe place to be or just via our listening ear. We’re here to help, we’re here to serve.”
The corps hosts a range of provisions and activities locally including coffee mornings, parent and toddler mornings and the food bank which operates on a referral basis and runs off donations.
For anyone wishing to donate food to the foodbank, the drop off points are located at Booths, Penrith, Morrisons Penrith, both located on Brunswick Road, and the church and community centre on Hunters Lane, Tuesday – Friday between 10 – 2:30pm.