A SECOND food bank will be launched in Worthing next week in a bid to tackle the pockets of deprivation in the town.
Under the umbrella of the Trussell Trust, Jubilee Community Church currently distributes food from Monday to Friday, between 2pm and 3.30pm.
Food bank manager Julie Denyer said: “We were the 11th food bank to open in the UK back in 2006 after we looked at the statistics of poverty in Worthing and decided that there were several areas that have needs.
“We work alongside more than 80 agencies within the Worthing area because we are not in a position to assess people and assess their needs.
“Therefore, we have help so that people can be helped in the long-term.
“If we just keep feeding people, that does not actually sort out the problem, it actually just feeds the problem.”
The food bank is designed to fill the gap between crisis and long-term help and provides a three-day food supply in return for a voucher.
Last year, the food bank fed 2,063 people, which equates to 18,567 meals. The figure was up on the previous year, when 1,423 people were fed.
Ms Denyer said: “Everything provided is long-life food and it is put together so people can get a breakfast, lunch and evening meal for three days.
“It contains cereal, milk and juice for breakfast, soup and beans for lunch and pasta, rice and some meats for dinner. The plan is that every item complements each other so that meals can be made up.
“The amount of people fed last year just goes to show that more and more people are in crisis and we are seeing all sorts of people from all different walks of life.
“Some people come to us who are on a low income and something has happened such as their boiler breaks or a bill comes in. Then there are others who may have lost their job or had a relationship breakdown and found themselves on the streets.
“Even if people go to the job centre and start the process of getting their benefits, it still takes a while before they have any money coming in. We have recently helped an older gentleman who had lost his wallet in a cafe, which was taken. That week he was in a crisis.
“We also have people from women’s aid who are escaping from domestic abuse and they have walked away from a household with nothing.
“But the point is not to see people regularly because that does not help them as they would start to rely on getting all their food that way.
“The food bank is like a neighbour helping a neighbour, like it used to be years ago.”
The new food bank will be at St Stephens Cafe Church, Angola Road, Broadwater, and will run on Mondays and Fridays, 10am to mid-day, starting on July 11.
Ms Denyer said: “We are opening a second facility because, according to our statistics, the biggest users of vouchers are in central and Heene wards.
“Our third and fourth biggest users are Broadwater and Selden wards so it seemed quite a good idea to have another bank in that area.
“There are pockets of deprivation in these areas so it is important to tackle them.”