The demand for emergency food aid in Ringwood and the surrounding areas continues to increase with growing numbers of adults and children experiencing food poverty. Currently, more than 1,500 people a year are receiving food aid through the Ringwood Foodbank. More than a third of these are children. To meet this growing need, a third distribution centre had been opened in Fordingbridge to add to those now running in Ringwood and Verwood.
A launch was held on Monday 25 August 2015 at the new Fordingbridge distribution centre in the United Reform Church at 41 Salisbury Street, attended by representatives from local community organisations and trustees and volunteers of the Foodbank. The Mayor of Fordingbridge Town Council, Malcolm Connolly, performed the formal opening by cutting a ribbon.
He acknowledged that the welfare system no longer provides the safety net for people in need and urged that those facing food poverty use the Foodbank to help them through when necessary.
Lyndsey Whitehead, who along with Steve West will be managing the new distribution centre, said that food poverty is an issue in the Fordingbridge area although much of the need is hidden. Both Lyndsey and Steve have experience in the voluntary sector and are keen to put their skills and knowledge to good use with the Foodbank.
The Ringwood Foodbank is totally dependent on a dedicated team of volunteers who run both the warehouses and the distribution centres.
As well as providing emergency food to families and individuals in crisis, the Foodbank also offers vital information and support.
The new Fordingbridge distribution centre will be open to clients starting on 7 September 2015 at the United Reform Church on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week between 12.30 and 2.30 pm.
To find out what how Ringwood Foodbank can help local people who are going hungry or to get information on how to support it, please go to http://ringwood.foodbank.org.uk/ or telephone 01425 600134.