Team behind Margate Foodbank open advice surgery and assistance service

The MiCommunity base in the Old Town

A new social organisation which will help with everything from debt advice to buying affordable food and household goods has been set up by the people behind the Margate Independent Foodbank (MiFoodbank).

MiCommunity has been established by the directors of MiFoodbank, who will work to help mitigate food and fuel poverty in Margate and  Thanet through specialised assistance and advice surgeries. MiCommunity’s aim is to create a welcoming place for their clients to visit in person, where they can be referred to agencies that will help them deal with issues from start to finish.

The new MiCommunity Shop at 6 Duke Street in Margate’s Old Town will provide a friendly meeting place and also affordable food and household goods for their clients, working alongside MiFoodbank and Sharon Goodyer’s ‘Our Shop’ to enable people to get everything they need at a very low cost.

The directors say the need for such support in Thanet is extensive, with the area recently ranking 309th out of 379 local authorities in the Legatum Institute’s UK Prosperity Index 2021, which is a drop of 23 places since their report in 2020. Through Mifoodbank’s client relation programme, it was found that many of their clients live with financial issues that remain unresolved due to insufficient support. MiCommunity hope to step in and provide the assistance needed, working with clients at their own pace, offering referrals for the following issues:

Debt Advice (Energy/Water/Consumer)

Benefits MOT/Benefits Appeals

Housing Advice

Befriending Services

Wellbeing/Activity Groups

Clothing/Homeware/Furniture Banks

In-house, MiCommunity will offer budgeting help and income maximisation, helping to advise people on how to make household savings that will improve their circumstances.

A second premises for MiFoodbank’s distribution still needs to be located, and once it is, then an emergency parcel service will be available for those people who still need the food bank’s help.

Customers will need to be registered to use the services. Those registered with MiFoodbank will automatically be registered with MiCommunity.