New food bank model
gives choice to users

Wakefield food bank adopts pantry system

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Once a shocking symbol of austerity, the cost of living crisis is seeing an even bigger growth in UK food bank numbers. But the soaring demand has prompted a rethink in how they operate.

“Food banks as we know them have kind of had their day,” said Lisa Grant, the manager of the biggest food bank in Wakefield. For more than a decade she has been running it from St Catherine’s Church Centre in the shadow of Wakefield Trinity’s rugby league ground, but now sees flaws in the system through which her food bank alone has provided local people with tens of thousands of meals.

The classic food bank model, pioneered by the Trussell Trust in 2002 is the supply of so-called food parcels, actually plastic carrier bags, filled with enough food to feed a family for several days. Much of the food comes from supermarket customers who drop donations in food bank collection bins or wire trolleys.

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Photo: Lisa Grant, who has been manager of a Wakefield food bank for a decade (Roger Ratcliffe)

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