A new foodbank has opened in Garforth with the aim of stopping needy old folk going hungry as the cold weather starts to bite.
The scheme is a partnership between the FareShare charity and Garforth Neighbourhood Elders Team (NET), a Leeds City Council-backed service provider.
It has won funding from the council’s outer east community committee and the local housing advisory panel.
The service will see food parcels being given to people aged over 60 together with advice on how to access other areas of support.
Outer east community commitee chair Coun Andrea McKenna (Lab, Garforth and Swillington), said: “In some ways it is unbelievable that in 2015 we have people in Garforth and outer east Leeds who are struggling to put food on the table, but sadly this is the reality we face.
“It’s never nice to need to open a foodbank but this service will provide a vital lifeline to some of our most vulnerable older people and it’s wonderful that NET and FareShare have come together to make a real difference to the lives of local people in this way.”
Coun Mary Harland (Lab, Kippax and Methley) said: “Over recent months we’ve had more and more older people contact us as local councillors worrying about how to pay for their food shop each week.
“It’s a sad state of affairs and we have to do something to help.
“I’m delighted to throw my support behind the NET and FareShare foodbank and thrilled that we’ve been able to help by covering the costs of setting up this vital service.”
All of the food distributed by the scheme – which will operate from Garforth NET’s office on Dover Street – will be donated by local people, supermarkets and other businesses.
Garforth NET manager Monica Walker said: “This new foodbank will help some of the most vulnerable older people in the area so it’s wonderful that it is now open.”