Walking through the centre of Chichester, it is difficult to imagine the hardship that exists beyond the city’s grand appearance.
But a new scheme is set to combat poverty in the city.
Chichester foodbank is a new project being launched in September to help provide emergency support for local people in crisis.
Chichester Family Church on Orchard Street will become the distribution centre for the project, which is working in close partnership with a number of parishes in the area.
Joanne Kondabeka (accent above e of kondabeka), project manager for the Chichester foodbank said: “Chichester is seen to be affluent, actually there is poverty that is hidden, it is about helping people in crisis and raising public awareness at the same time.”
Joanne added: “For me it is about being able to help people that at the moment could be going without food and I believe there are people out there that have a crisis and have nowhere to go.”
Chichester foodbank is part of The Trussel Trust’s national foodbank network which has set up over 170 foodbanks throughout the UK.
People in crisis will be given a voucher from care professionals which can be exchanged at the foodbank for three days worth of food.
Jeremy Ravn, foodbank network director for The Trussel Trust said: “The Trussel Trust is delighted to welcome another food bank into its growing network, we are very excited that church community projects are reaching out into the community and making a difference to people’s lives.”
Chichester foodbank is having preliminary talks with agencies across the city, including Social Services, Citizens Advice Bureau and Chichester District Council.
The foodbank is also in talks with local supermarkets about holding food collections where members of the public donate items of non-perishable food for the project.
Colin Clark, centre manager for Christian’s Against Poverty Chichester said: “The general members of the public would not realise that this is going on in Chichester, you walk through the town centre and not that many steps from the centre there are people living in absolute poverty. Illness, unemployment, redundancy and ill health can all lead to debt and not having much income, that is why the food bank will be so vital, we are really looking forward to working closely with them.”
Pastor Bruno Kondabeka (accent above e of kondabeka) from Chichester Family Church said: “This is a practical way of adding value to the community we are very excited.” The project will aim to help all local people who have been hit by economic crisis.
Joanne Kondabeka added: “It is not particularly homeless focussed, it is for people who have hit economic crisis, the homeless are catered for very well by Stone Pillow. Obviously if a homeless person goes through the different agencies and is given a voucher we will help.” The launch of the Chichester foodbank will take place on September 8 at Chichester Cathedral and on September 10 at the distribution centre in Chichester Family Church on Orchard Street.
*Side bar- How the food bank works
Step 1- Non-perishable food is donated by the public
Step 2- Volunteers sort and pack food into emergency food boxes
Step 3- Frontline care professionals such as doctors and social workers give foodbank vouchers to people in crisis
Step 4- Foodbank vouchers are exchanged for three days worth of food at a foodbank
Step 5- Foodbanks offer help and signpost clients to further support