Foodbank changes name to reflect increased demand
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Not many people want to lose their jobs - but for one Cromer man, it would be a good thing.
Tim Morton, project manager at North Norfolk Foodbank, says the ultimate aim of the charity, which helps feed people across the region, is to close.
"We are working towards the day the foodbank is no longer needed, but we won't close until that happens," he says.
If anything, the charity, based in Cromer Methodist Church Hall, has seen demand increase every year since it was established in 2012. Back then, it was known as Cromer and District Foodbank. More recently, the name has been changed to North Norfolk Foodbank.
"It made sense for us to change our name so people could understand what we are. It's a better reflection of what we do," Mr Morton says.
The organisation now covers a 200 square mile area of north Norfolk, with its headquarters in Cromer and satellite centres in Sheringham, Holt, Aylsham, North Walsham and Stalham.
Food vouchers issued by various agencies across the district determine how many parcels the charity puts together each week. The boxes are then either collected at one of the centres or delivered.
Mr Morton said that since 2019, there has been a 30pc increase in demand for parcels.
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From January to July in 2019, they fulfilled 840 vouchers. For the same period this year, the figure climbed to 1,039.
Mr Morton says: "A lot of people live quite close to the breadline and it doesn't take much to tip them over. It could be an illness and if people work on casual contracts, they don't get paid."
As well as the name change, another sign of the foodbank's expansion is its new van, a fully electric model which arrived on Tuesday (September 21) from Crayford & Abbs.
"It means one driver can head to Sheringham and another can go to Stalham on the same day," says Mr Morton.
Looking ahead, a combination of the proposed £20 cut in Universal Credit payments and rising fuel prices will have an effect on their work this winter.
"If you lose £80 a month from your income, and if you're tight on money, and that's every month, that will certainly draw more people to the foodbank," he says.
The charity is accepting donations and anyone wishing to support the organisation financially is now asked to make cheques payable to the North Norfolk Foodbank.