Food bank started in Northampton pub marks one-year anniversary with grand opening of new storage unit

The unit will give the charity a new identity, separate to the pub which will reopen soon

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 5:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 5:38 pm

A food bank which was started in a Northampton pub has marked its one-year anniversary of helping vulnerable people by opening a new storage unit.

Teresa McCarthy-Dixon began using a part of her pub - The Swan and Helmet in Grove Road - as a food bank when the first lockdown hit in March 2020.

In the course of just a year, the dedicated landlady and her team of hard working volunteers have given out 43,000 food parcels and helped many families who found themselves in a difficult situation, as well as providing other help and guidance too.

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Right to left: Pam Law, Mick Donnelly, Teresa McCarthy-Dixon, Vincent Doherty, Steve Summers, Marie Lally and baby Callum, Tony Ansell (middle). Trustee missing from the photo: Jackie O’Connell. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.
Right to left: Pam Law, Mick Donnelly, Teresa McCarthy-Dixon, Vincent Doherty, Steve Summers, Marie Lally and baby Callum, Tony Ansell (middle). Trustee missing from the photo: Jackie O’Connell. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

The community aid became a registered charity in July last year, called the McCarthy-Dixon Foundation, which enabled the charity to access support from the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, which Teresa says has been ‘fantastic’.

Now the charity has expanded more by securing a storage unit in William Street, The Mounts in order to stock more products and help more vulnerable people.

In the presence of the charity’s trustees, former mayor of Northampton, Councillor Tony Ansell was on hand to officially open the unit today (March 30).

As he opened the unit, Mr Ansell said: “You should be named Mother Teresa of Northampton. You look after the poor and you have worked tirelessly to do so much.

The new unit is located in William Street.

“Your food bank is so impressive and I wish you many years in this wonderful little unit. I am sure you will help many more people in this town.”

Teresa added: “It’s a proud moment to a year on, but demand in the community is so high.

“From what I have seen so far, often the demand has not been as high when we leave lockdown, but this time it is still really high.

“The charity has also got so big, we need it to have its own base.

Teresa hopes to help many more people in the community. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

“We will be opening the pub again soon so the charity needed its own identity.

“I see us as different to other food banks as we hope to take pressure off the main ones.

“As long as the need is there, I feel as though our job is not done. I don’t think people realise how much poverty there is in our community.”

The charity is already helping 52 schools and a number of groups across the county and has also recently been providing children with Easter eggs.

With the new unit, Teresa and the team are hoping to reach even more people in need of support. The unit will be used as storage only and the food bank will still be run from the pub.

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