‘With 900 meals provided to people in crisis per month, there is a need’ - Soham foodbank moves to Millbrook House care home after Salvation Army closure

The ground floor of Millbrook House care home in Soham is the new home for Soham Foodbank's distribu

The ground floor of Millbrook House care home in Soham is the new home for Soham Foodbank's distribution centre, which opens every Thursday morning. Inset is some of the foodbank’s items ready to be handed out. - Credit: Archant

Soham’s foodbank, which delivers around 900 meals per month to local people in crisis, is relocating its distribution centre.

Following the closure of the town’s Salvation Army, the distribution centre and its team of 12 volunteers is moving to the ground floor of Millbrook House care home.

On behalf of Ely Foodbank, which is managed by The Trussell Trust charity, 30 food vouchers a month are given to those in need in Soham.

Brenda Francis, one of the co-ordinators at the Soham distribution centre, said: “There is definitely a need for a foodbank in Soham. Due to benefit changes and with universal credit coming in, that kind of thing has an impact.

“Locally, The Trussell Trust has seen a 14 per cent in the number of people using its foodbanks in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.”

The first distribution session at Millbrook House is on Thursday May 3, with opening times remaining the same as before: 9.30-11.00am every Thursday morning.

Millbrook House is located a two-minute walk past the library in the centre of Soham. The address is Millbrook House, Lode Close, Soham, Ely CB7 5WN.

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Mrs Francis added that the move is “very exciting and ideal because of the location.

“It’s great that they have offered us that space to operate within. It’s meant that we haven’t had to have a long and laborious search for another venue.

“We have a bank of volunteers that we can call on each Thursday and average six at each Thursday session.

“When somebody comes in, they are offered a cup of tea or coffee. Someone sits with them to have a chat about their situation to identify their needs.

“Then the food is picked and packed into supermarket plastic bags by one of our volunteers; so that it looks like they have been shopping.

“That way it stops them feeling self-conscious because it can be a difficult thing for some people.”

The Soham Salvation Army closed its doors on May 4 due to a decrease in the number of people using the building.

The Trussell Trust is a non government organisation and charity that co-ordinates the only nationwide network of food banks in the country.

Its aim is to stop UK hunger and poverty thanks to a network of foodbanks that provide emergency food and support to people in crisis.

Head here for more information about the charity, which also runs foodbanks in Cottenham and March.

For more information about Ely Foodbank call 01353 468626 email info@elyfoodbank.org.uk or visit their website.