A busy Wansbeck food bank is set to benefit from a year-long fundraising and food collection campaign by staff at the Morpeth branch of Newcastle Building Society.
The Wansbeck Valley Food Bank has been adopted by the team at the Newcastle’s Market Place branch as their charity of the year for 2106 after a customer talked to them about the work it was doing around the local area.
Members of the NBS team paid a visit to the Food Bank’s Dacre Street warehouse in the town to find out more about its operations, and have since held two hamper raffles in the branch which raised £150.
A food collection point has also been set up in the branch through which customers can donate items to the Food Bank, and a number of them are now coming in regularly every week to do so.
Wansbeck Valley Food Bank was established to help prevent and relieve poverty or financial hardship by providing food to local families in need across Morpeth and the surrounding area.
It collects and stores non-perishable food which is issued as parcels to individuals in financial hardship who have been referred to the charity by one of several professional organisations and individuals, and which provide food for a minimum of three days.
The Food Bank’s main warehouse is at the New Life Church in Morpeth, with distribution centres operating in Ashington, Lynemouth, Newbiggin and Pegswood.
The Morpeth branch team’s support for the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank is part of Newcastle Building Society’s wider commitment to supporting the communities in which it’s based, with individual branches having the opportunity to provide support to organisations and good causes in their respective locations, such as community charities, hospices, schools and voluntary organisations.
Last year, the Morpeth team raised £730 for The Stephen Carey Fund.
Branch manager Katie Wallace says: “We weren’t greatly aware of the work that the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank did in our community until one of our customers told us about it.
“Having visited their warehouse, we could see just how important their activities are, and how demand for their support is growing across our area, and getting behind this work ties in extremely well with our mutual ethos of supporting our communities wherever we can.
“Our customers have always been really generous in supporting the various good causes that we’ve worked for in the past, and as well as being able to hand over £150, we’ve also been able to donate several bags of food that will directly help people in our community who are in real need.”
Linda Fugill, project manager at the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, adds: “Last year, we spent £10,000 on food to be able to continue to meet the increasing need to provide food parcels for our clients.
“We are extremely grateful for the support provided by the local branch of the Newcastle Building Society. It is encouraging to see the local community and its businesses helping those facing a crisis.” 
For more information on the work of the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank, visit www.wansbeckvalleyfoodbank.org