Woking Foodbank users increase by 60% in a year

REFERRALS to the Woking Foodbank were up 60 per cent in 2015, the committee behind the charity have revealed.

The Foodbank, which operates out of The Lighthouse project in High Street, only opened its doors in 2014, but has proved its worth with more than 900 referral vouchers redeemed in the past 365 days – up from just over 500 in its inaugural year.

Administrator Alison Buckland noted that the number of children being supported by the service had more than doubled to 864 during 2015.

“Some of the reason for the rise may be due to a greater awareness of schools in the area who refer families to our service at school holiday time when free school meals aren’t available,” she said. “But nevertheless it is a surprisingly large increase.”

Now more than ever the team behind the Foodbank are hugely appreciative of the backing they are given by the local community.

David Maskell of Coign Church, Chairman of the charity’s Steering Group, said: “There are many people who have supported the project during the year: churches, referral agencies or the many local people donating food and funds.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us.” Running costs total £850 per month, but Steering Group Secretary, Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Johnson, says he holds no fears over the charity’s long-term future.

He added: “I am very proud of what we have achieved in our first two years. People in Woking have been very generous in supporting our vital project.”

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