THE launch of a new food bank will bring hope to Boscombe’s most deprived residents, organisers say.

The facility will open at St George’s Methodist Church in Haviland Road on February 4.

And many from the area have already volunteered to help staff the food bank, which will initially open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Rev Sue Gowling said it is ‘shocking’ that the nearest food bank for Boscombe locals is based in Charminster.

“If people are struggling to afford food, it’s easy to assume they’re going to struggle to pay the bus fare too,” she said.

“The Charminster food bank does a fantastic job, and we will be working as a satellite distribution point for them.

“An operation like this is desperately needed in Boscombe, and we’re delighted to be able to get going.”

The idea has taken nine months to come to life after it was suggested in a Boscombe For-um meeting.

But for Councillor Chris Wakefield the project has been on the cards for even longer.

“It has been an aspiration of mine for some time, and I began to talk to people about it two years ago,” he said.

“At that time, we were unable to locate a possible site for the food bank, but when St George’s Church stepped in, we were able to start moving forward.

“Currently, people are making the trek to Charminster, so I think it’s going to make a huge difference for those in need.”

The councillor has himself been forced to turn to food banks in the past.

“They say you’re only two pay checks away from needing to use one, and I know better than most that anyone can need some help,” he said.

The Rev Gowling added: “We want to ensure that anyone who comes to us needing support will be given privacy and dignity.”

For more information, or to volunteer, call the church on 01202 391220. Donations of tinned or dried food will be gratefully welcomed at the church.