Lutterworth and Villages food bank has given out an impressive 5,247 meals during its first year of existence.
The number of meals – which averages out at over 100 a week – proves that the food bank is needed, even in a town seen as generally prosperous.
The Mayor of Lutterworth, Cllr Philip Toye, said: “I think Lutterworth can be proud that this food bank has been such a success.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the volunteers, the helpers and to all the people who have given so generously in money, in food and in time.”
Lynn Martin, project manager for the Lutterworth and Villages food bank said: “Is a food bank really needed, was a common question when we started up a year ago.
“And although it’s true we’re quite low on the deprivation-scale in general, there is still deprivation here.
“It’s people on low income, people who are sick and have not been paid, people who have moved and paid lots of rent, people faced with unexpected bills.
“We’re usually just helping people through a temporary problem.”
And since being launched last January, the food bank has also trained 65 volunteers, established 21 food drop-off points around the Lutterworth area and has nearly 100 trained assessors who refer people to the group.
The Lutterworth and Villages team has received nearly 14,000 kgs – more than 30,000 lbs – of food in donations.
It’s the equivalent of about 180 12-stone men in weight.
The food bank is one of the town Mayor Cllr Toye’s appeals.
The idea stemmed from a chat that Cllr Toye had with the vicar of Lutterworth’s St Mary’s Church, the Rev Charlie Styles.
Cllr Toye explained: “I was looking for things to get involved with in my Mayoral year. I asked him what he thought about a food bank in Lutterworth, and he just said ‘go for it’.”
Lynn said the food bank was now actively looking to increase fundraising in the coming year, to help with running costs.
She stressed that all the helpers were unpaid volunteers.
And both she and Cllr Toye agreed that there were still people in the Lutterworth area who did not use the food bank, even though they could be eligible.
“Go to the website and you’ll see how to be referred,” urged Lynn.
More details about the food bank can be found at the website www.lutterworthfoodbank.org.