Leeds village launches its first food bank to help families struggling during Covid pandemic

Kippax Parish Council has launched what is thought to be the village's first ever food bank to help families in need during the Covid pandemic.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 6:22 pm
Kippax Parish councillors sorting food parcels at Kippax Band Club for the new Kippax Food Bank. Photo: Gary Longbottom

The food bank, which has initially been set up for ten weeks, provided Christmas dinners for 25 families and is currently supporting 30 families a week.

Volunteers working from Kippax Band Club pack bespoke food parcels and deliver them on Saturday mornings.

Kippax Parish Councillor Vicky Gaitley, said: "The feedback has been exceptional.

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Local Leeds City Councillors (left to right) Mirelle Midgley, James Lewis and Mary Harland with food parcels at the Kippax Band Club which houses Kippaxs' first foodbank. Photo: Gary Longbottom

"We had three families say they had never been able to afford turkey before and we have turned up and people have been in tears because they are so grateful.

She added: "It is emotional when you deliver food parcels. You do get a sense of warmth to know you have helped someone who has reached out.

"You are greeted with such gratitude. What would they do without it, especially when there are kids there?

"We thank the families that have reached out, because it can't be easy.

Kippax Parish councillors sorting food parcels at the Kippax Band Club which houses Kippaxs' first foodbank Photo: Gary Longbottom

"There are various reasons people need help. People have lost their jobs or are on furlough. Some people are lost in the universal credit and employment support agency systems.

"Some people just don't have the funds to do their shopping. We are just trying to bridge the gap to help people in need."

Coun Gaitley said that during the first lockdown, Kippax Parish Council gave financial support to the Brigshaw Trust cluster team, which provides pastoral service to families in need in Kippax and surrounding areas.

Coun Gaitley said the parish council has launched the food bank to support families in need and take the burden away from schools having to support families during the second wave of the Covid pandemic.

Kippax Parish Councillors sorting food parcels at the Kippax Band Club, which houses Kippaxs' first foodbank Photo: Gary Longbottom

The food bank has been running for six weeks of a planned ten week project, which will then be reviewed.

Four families came forward for help during the first week, followed by 14 in the second and now 30 families are using the food bank service.

Coun Gaitley said: "We don't just send a standard parcel. We speak to people and ask them what they need."

A total of 14 Kippax parish councillors are involved in the project and Garforth Lions are also helping with deliveries.

Members of the public have made generous donations to the food bank, which is being funded by Kippax Parish Council, Leeds City Council Kippax and Methley ward councillors and local businesses.

Food can be donated at Kippax Coop, Kippax Sainsburys, Love & Stevens on Kippax High Street, Hick wine merchants in Ledston and Kippax Band Club from 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays.

Anyone in Kippax, Allerton Bywater, Methley and Great Preston can ask for food and toiletries by calling 07594379788 or 07795070043.