A food bank that provides essential support to vulnerable members of a Northumberland community has become the latest beneficiary of the Rio Tinto legacy fund.
Wansbeck Valley Food Bank has been awarded £10,000 to maintain adequate supplies for people requiring emergency support.
The donation takes Rio Tinto’s legacy fund spending to more than £550,000 since the closure of the Lynemouth smelter in March 2012.
Linda Fugill, project manager at Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, said: “People are turning to us for a variety of different reasons.
“Some are unemployed, others might be switching benefits and they are experiencing a short-term gap in their payments and an increasing number are actually in employment but struggling with the costs of living.
“Our three day food parcels provide short-term relief while other care and support agencies work on longer-term solutions.
“Rio Tinto’s very generous donation helps safeguard the food bank until at least the winter of 2017 so we are extremely grateful.”
Joanne Hannay, Rio Tinto’s Lynemouth regional economic development adviser, added: “Wansbeck Valley Food Bank provides vulnerable members of our community with the essentials that many of us are able to take for granted.
“In considering this application to Rio Tinto’s legacy fund, my colleagues and I were very impressed by Linda and her team of volunteers, not only for their dedication and compassion but also by the professional approach with which they run the food bank.”
Wansbeck Valley Food Bank runs distribution centres in Ashington on Mondays and Thursdays and in Morpeth on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Centres are open in Pegswood and Newbiggin on Wednesdays with plans for a further session starting in Lynemouth in the summer.
Anyone who feels they need support should contact one of the food bank’s professional referrers such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, health visitor or GP who will then assess the case and if necessary provide a referral letter which should be taken along to one of the distribution centres in exchange for a food parcel.
Anyone interested in supporting Wansbeck Valley Food Bank should contact Linda Fugill on 07841 908477.