Keen to get started as new Leeds South and East Foodbank trustee

I’m honoured to have been appointed as a trustee to the Leeds South and East Foodbank. I attended the board meeting for the first time this week, amongst discussions, we had a really useful session reviewing our risks . The foodbank holds a special place in my heart, I’ve been a strong public supporter for a number of years. Having originally helped set up the Rothwell foodbank by bringing churches and community groups together, as there was unfortunately a growing obvious need. I’m already volunteering with the foodbank, including organising volunteers for supermarket collections ,so becoming a trustee enables me to make a bigger contribution.

Karen Bruce Leeds South and East foodbank trustee at the opening of the new warehouse

I feel that as well as using my experience, contacts and skills of being a councillor and community chair in the foodbank area, I can bring some understanding and empathy to what it is like for families who are struggling, having being brought up on a council estate ten miles from the food bank warehouse and being a free school meals kid, I know what it feels like to have to queue in a separate line. We always have to look for better ways of providing for those in need which doesn’t single out or stigmatise those we’re trying to help.  I want a fairer society and it’s shocking and truly tragic that foodbanks are needed in this day and age. Until the day comes when there are true opportunities for all and when food banks are no longer needed I will do all I can to help the foodbank to help those who need it most. The team at Leeds South and East Foodbank are amazing and all go the extra mile for those in dire need.

In the year ending April 2021, South and East foodbank provided food for 9,615 people, consisting of 5,892 adults and 3,723 children. The foodbank recently had an official opening for the larger premises it now requires. It’s tragic that foodbanks are needed by so many to struggle through.

Various reasons cause people to need help from the foodbank, such as low income, benefit changes and delays, delayed wages,  and various other situations.

We work with a number of companies, schools, and organisations, who donate food, money, and also provide volunteers. Some of these are:

Leeds United Supporters Trust, White Rose Centre, Amey, PureGym, Manheim Motors, Tesco, National Powergrid, Amazon, Sky, West Yorkshire Police, Sulzer, Lyreco, and many others, all have our utmost thanks for their help and generosity.

The foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in our local area and is supported by the Trussell Trust.

For anyone needing help in a crisis, please call 0113 376 0330 to speak to Leeds Local Welfare Support Scheme, a referral partner of Leeds South & East Foodbank.

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