Use of Northampton food bank doubles but it may still close as funding begins to run out

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Food bank managers have no idea where 3,000 Northampton children will go for emergency handouts beyond this summer.

The Northampton Food Bank gave emergency meals to 8,500 different people last year, 3,000 of them children.

Daylight Centre: Wellingborough: Wellingborough Food Bank 'Chris Clavey picks items for a parcel,'Tuesday 16th December 2014 NNL-141216-145735009

Daylight Centre: Wellingborough: Wellingborough Food Bank 'Chris Clavey picks items for a parcel,'Tuesday 16th December 2014 NNL-141216-145735009

But despite the fact that the number has doubled each year since 2012, and despite there being more people in need than the food bank can help, funds have almost run out.

Northamptonshire County Council pledged two years of funding in 2013, but the food bank fears it is unlikely to be renewed.

If funds are not found by April, the charity will have to give notice of closure.

Anya Willis, the charity director, said: “There is nobody in Northampton set to pick up the slack of benefits changes and it falls on a local charity to provide emergency relief when people can’t feed themselves.

“These are the people with nothing in their cupboard and nowhere to turn.

“The food we hand out is Spam and pasta.

“What will happen to those 3,000 children if we aren’t here to fall back on?

“Nobody has the answer to that question.”

The charity’s funding from County Hall amounted to £51,000 of its £63,000 budget, with the rest made up from churches and modest business donations.

But the Food Bank also needs to expand as well as employ staff to reduce its reliance on volunteers.

Mrs Willis said: “We are still applying to Comic Relief, Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Big Lottery, but we don’t have enough in the bank

“We have to remain hopeful.

“We believe the good work we do will be recognised.”