Fresh appeal to find new premises for Margate Independent Food Bank

Margate Independent Food Bank needs a new home

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.

Margate Independent Foodbank Photo Twinkle Troughton

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 [email protected] or call John Finnegan on 07948 439002


  1. Maybe it’s about time this useless Council helped out and gave this essential service a place they can use, I don’t think the the people of Margate would object to this as this has been a life saver for so many.

  2. Isn’t this really the councils duty? All you see are countless boarded up shops-surely they can sort something out free or a peppercorn rent? Too busy virtue signalling, flag waving for 99 year old billionaires & having their snouts in the trough?

  3. If every food bank scheme, community kitchen, volunteering programme and food poverty project in Thanet all came together, they would be able to find suitable premises easily, with the economies of scale favourable. One of the key problems, based on my experience of the sector, is that people seem reluctant to work together for the greater good. This always results on duplication and waste, and opens up the various fantastic schemes out there to abuse. This is not a criticism of the amazing work these people are doing, because it is admirable. But, I do wish that everyone who worked and volunteered in the interest of food poverty could just come together and form an alliance, all working together for the sole purpose of feeding Thanet. If they did this, not only would costs reduce and support become more joined up, but it would open up bigger funding opportunities which, currently, are being jumped on by the usual bandwagon jumpers and ambulance chasers of which I will not name names.

    As for TDC actually being of any use? Please don’t hold your breath on that front… My time in this sector goes back to at least 2008 and, during this time, they have always been worse than useless.

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