A FOODBANK has been launched in Southbourne to help support families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.

Southbourne Foodbank, based at Immanuel Church, provides three-day food parcels to people in need who have been referred to the group by doctors, schools and churches in the area.

Andrew Hirst, co-ordinator of the project, said: “The foodbank has been set-up to provide food for local individuals and families in crisis.

“We are working with Southbourne Churches Together, which includes churches of different denominations all focussed on the same aims.”

The foodbank, which is run by a team of volunteers, distributes food parcels from Immanuel Church on Wednesday mornings between 10.30am and noon to individuals with referral forms.

It’s hoped the new foodbank will help ease the pressure on existing foodbanks in the area.

“We’ve given out around 13 parcels in the past two weeks but we are expecting this number to grow as more people become aware of the foodbank,” Mr Hirst said.

One of the families who recently received a parcel was a self-employed man with two children.

“His wife had left him and he was on his own. He was self-employed and couldn’t work with the children,” Mr Hirst explained.

He added: “It’s not just for people on benefits. There are a lot of reasons why people might need help.”

Anyone wishing to donate food can drop off items at Immanuel’s Church on Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm. Food collections are also being housed at various churches in the Southbourne area.

To find out more about how you can support the foodbank, call on 01202 424994.