The directors of Margate Independent Food Bank (Mifoodbank) are making an urgent appeal to find new premises.
The organisation has operated during the COVID crisis from Union Church in Union Row, Margate, but now has just three weeks to find a new base.
The church has obligations and commitments to other groups and organisations which date back to pre-lockdown. Directors of the foodbank say they are grateful for the support from the church in providing a space to work from since June last year. The church has extended the deadline for the food bank to move out to May 3.
Some 200 families a week rely on Mifoodbank for food and other essentials to get them through the current challenging times.
It is run by directors John Finnegan (pictured), Cameron Dougherty, Twinkle Troughton, Martyn Pennington and Darryn de la Soul and dedicated volunteers.
The foodbank not only provides bags of food essentials to those who come to collect but is also one of the few that delivers food bags throughout Thanet to those whose mobility difficulties prevent them from collecting in Margate.
A spokesperson said: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on coastal towns like Margate, and on people who would, in better times, not need additional help.
“Our operation is extensive; some 120 bags are collected each week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and a further 100 or so are delivered on Thursday mornings by 12 volunteer drivers.”
In order to run a smooth and effective operation and to continue providing essential support to the community, Mifoodbank needs:
- Ground floor, no/few steps
- Easy access for clients collecting parcels on foot
- Easy access for vehicles to load food parcels for delivery (On double yellow line is fine as loading is permitted, but must have enough space for other traffic to still get past)
- Access for large lorries delivering pallets
- Longevity; security for the foreseeable future is crucial
- Preferably close to a supermarket
- Hot running water
- If possible, a kitchen
- Ideally low/no rent
- Small office space
- Ideally within easy reach of central Margate
Several possibilities have been examined but unfortunately none has materialised so far.
The group says that ideally a premises would be in central Margate but other options would be considered.
The spokesperson added: “MiFoodbank has ambitious plans to tackle poverty and reduce reliance on foodbanks, by providing practical advice and solutions around debt, fuel poverty, budgeting, housing and cooking on a budget, which we feel will be a vital resource to Margate as we recover from the impact of lockdown.”
They are appealing for anyone who can help with a premises to get in touch.
Contact MiFoodbank at firstname.lastname@example.org or call John Finnegan on 07948 439002