Worthing food bank works with community to tackle root causes of food insecurity

Released: Tuesday, 12 March 2024

A Worthing food bank is continuing to work with the community to tackle the root causes of food insecurity after securing funding from Worthing Borough Council.

Worthing Food Foundation, which also runs Worthing Vegan Food Bank, was awarded £30,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Neighbourhood Fund to support its community outreach work.

Money from the CIL Neighbourhood Fund will help Worthing Food Foundation's only paid employee, outreach worker Jacquie Beardon, to engage with food bank users to reduce long-term reliance on food banks.

The food bank was set up during the pandemic and has been supplying food to people in need from its base at East Worthing Baptist Church, Pendine Avenue since April 2020. To help simplify access and reduce the perceived stigma of food bank use, Worthing Food Foundation encourages people to approach it directly without the need of an official referral.

Jacquie's role sees her work with food bank users that need additional support with physical and mental health conditions or addiction issues as well as advising them about financial help they may be eligible for.

Jacquie said:

“Most people don't want to keep using food banks, so we try to have a look together at why they are in the situation they have found themselves in, and to find solutions. I see my role as a lot of hand-holding and helping to empower people to have more control over their lives.”

The food bank is also keen to work with families to ensure children get access to healthy food and dental care. One recent project saw Jacquie contact parents to check if they knew about provisions such as Healthy Start vouchers, help with school uniforms or free school meals.

Worthing Food Foundation is also using part of the CIL money to fund a food bank in the community project with a nearby children's centre.

Matthew Potter, a volunteer at Worthing Food Foundation, said:

“There are around 16,000 people in food poverty in the area, but we only see around 2,000 of them and we want to understand why. One solution could be that we go to them instead of them having to come to us. As a pilot project we have placed a food bank at Worthing East Family Hub in Lyndhurst Road, so that the people who work there can give parents that already use the centre help with food if they notice a need.”

If the project proves successful, Worthing Food Foundation hopes to roll it out to other venues such as warm spaces, hubs for elderly people and doctors' surgeries.

Cllr Carl Walker, the deputy leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:

“The continued cost of living crisis means that more people than ever are struggling to afford enough food to eat, and fewer people are able to spare enough to donate, which is causing food banks to be stretched to the limit.

“We're really pleased to see that the money from the CIL Neighbourhood Fund is being used to bring food banks into spaces that people feel safe and comfortable and that the vital work that Jacquie does in the community can continue.”

To find out more about supporting or volunteering with the Worthing Food Foundation, see:

We revamped the CIL fund last year to cover a wider area of Worthing and give the community more of a say in how the money is spent. To find out more, see:

Photo: Storage at the food bank (credit Worthing Food Foundation)

PR24-036 - Food bank storage (credit Worthing Food Foundation)

Photo: Matthew Potter and Jacquie Beardon

PR24-036 - Matthew Potter and Jacquie Beardon

Photo: Food bank parcels ready for delivery

PR24-036 - Food bank parcels ready for delivery

(PR24-036)

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Page last updated: 11 April 2024

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