We were made warmly welcome at the foodbank meeting held on the 15th January at Boston Spa Methodist Church. The meeting was wonderfully well attended – with over 50 people there – there not just to listen, but to share their views, questions and ideas.
Marion led an excellent session covering ‘what is a foodbank?’, followed by Nick and Norma (with some supporting information provided by Anne) who expertly explored the question of ‘do we really need a food bank in our area – and if so, where might it be?’ We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Matt Cameron, the Regional Development Co-ordinator for the Trussell Trust, and an excellent supporter of our local project.
Following discussion, tea and biscuits, questions and answers, people were asked to put their ideas and views, as well as any willingness to support the project through their time, expertise, money, etc. onto paper, so that we could get a real, detailed feel for the views of everyone in the room.
Some took away the sheet which attendees completed (to complete themselves and/or to pass on to others who could not attend) and some are completing it on line – which means that we have not got all of the papers in yet. Once we feel that we have got the majority – a careful analysis of the responses will be compiled and shared with everyone. This will shape the next steps – whether to go for it, or not!
A quick look at the responses we have to date shows pretty overwhelming support for the development – but we do need to see what other views come in before making a final decision, and of course, whether the practical and financial support is out there, not just to set it up, but to run and sustain it.
Those of us on the steering group were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, positivity, generosity and commitment we saw at the meeting. It was humbling to see so many people so keen to help so many in need.
As soon as ‘the white smoke goes up’ you will be told – via email if you have given your address, by phone if we have your number – or through this website!
Kind regards, Gail Bowen, Lower Wharfe Valley Foodbank Group
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