As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact on local services, the introduction of a new foodbank van could not have come at a better time for Southport’s vulnerable community.
Shoreline Foodbank has seen its users sharply increase since March last year and now services over 500 families and individuals. Moreover, with many needing to shield the demand for home deliveries has also increased. This van is a lifeline for many families across the town.
With grants and donations stemming from a multitude of individuals and organisations, including The Josephine Butler Trust, the COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant (provided by Defra and managed by WRAP) and Sefton Council, funds were raised in a matter of months for this project.
Not only is this a welcome addition to the individuals and volunteers who are a part of the Shoreline Foodbank family, but the van ticks off its green credential as it is 100% electric. The reduced running costs mean more funds can be directed back to supplying additional foodstuffs for the needy in Southport.
Shoreline Foodbank would not be possible without the generous support of local suppliers, supermarkets, volunteers, and local residents.
You can see the van, with its eye-catching livery on the roads of Southport 7-days a week. And as the cold winter hits, it is a welcome sight for many families.
The van is affectionately named Ruth, after the Bible character who helped to gather food to help feed others and reflecting the ‘love all, serve all’ ethos of Shoreline Church.
Shoreline Church initiated its foodbank scheme in 2011 - the first of its kind in Southport. It started due to the urgent need to relieve the food poverty identified by the church as they worked with homeless people across Southport.
The food itself is donated by local bakeries, farmers, supermarkets, and individuals in the surrounding area. This food is collected daily by a team of volunteers and is then stored, packed, and distributed to families 5-nights a week, 50-weeks a year.
The Foodbank operates on a purely voluntary basis and has no paid staff. Many of the current volunteers are or have been themselves users of the service, keen to give back.
They are always looking for volunteers.
Shoreline Foodbank is based at 9 Mornington Road and is open Monday to Friday, 5-6pm.