Food help is for the hungry in Wigan

Pictured left to right are Rev Reg Sinclair, David Bilney, Rev Karen Slayen, Jackie Underwood, Warren Done, and Rev Gareth Thomas
Pictured left to right are Rev Reg Sinclair, David Bilney, Rev Karen Slayen, Jackie Underwood, Warren Done, and Rev Gareth Thomas
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A NEW food bank has opened to provide extra help for struggling families in Wigan.

The Trussell Trust has helped to set up the resource at St John The Baptist Church, in Atherton, where parcels are handed out to people who are unable to afford to eat.

The centre - known as Atherton and Leigh Food Bank - also has a cafe where people can have refreshments while they wait for the donations.

Warren Done, project manager of the food bank, said: “Atherton is quite a deprived area, and especially with the benefit changes, we are hearing stories of people struggling.

“We work through different agencies such as schools, probation, domestic violence refuges, and GPs, who identify those in need and these agencies give out vouchers for people to come to us.

“We provide three days’ worth of non-perishable goods, such as cereals, milk, beans and tinned fruit, ensuring they get a balanced and nutritional meal.”

Research from the Trussell Trust shows that one in five families is in poverty and 15 per cent of people in Greater Manchester skip meals because they do not have enough money to spend on food.

Warren added: “Just because people are working, it does not mean that they aren’t in poverty.

“People on a low income can find that they suddenly have to pay for an unexpected expense and have to choose between eating or having heating in their home.”

All food is donated by members of the public and when the bank first started last week, volunteers collected 1.3 tonnes of food in two days.

Warren said: “It is amazing how the community has come on board to help. We have had donations from supermarkets and churches, which has been overwhelming, so I need to say a big thank you to them and also our volunteers.”

To find out how to donate food email info@athertonleigh.foodbank.org.uk or call 07980 881925