Erewash MP Jessica Lee has praised the work of the Arena Food Bank and given the ‘Tiser’s Feed Our Families campaign her full support.
Jessica spent time at the charity’s Belfield Street base chatting with manager Lisa Harrison and packing up food parcels from donations.
She said: “The Arena Food Bank does a fantastic job and I fully aupport the ‘Tiser’s campaign.
“There are lots of different people who need the support of the food bank for lots of different reasons.
“That is what makes the volunteers, donors and what they do here so important.”
During her visit, Arena community manager, Lisa Harrison told Jessica about the rise in people coming to the food bank.
Lisa said: “We now have a client base of just over 1,200 people.
“We’re giving out parcels to more and more people as people’s finances are becoming harder to manage, a lot of people are struggling for all different reasons, the bedroom tax, low incomes, high monthly bills that will get worse during the colder months.”
Criteria to receive a parcel was also discussed.
Lisa explained: “A lot of other food banks are different to us in that people have to be referred to them by an agency, we do get a lot of referrals but anyone can walk in off the street and we will assess them individually to see if they qualify for a food parcel.”
Jessica responded: “That is what makes the Arena so unique, they are open to everyone.
“Many people think because they work or because they aren’t on benefits they won’t be eligible for a food parcel but they won’t know if they don’t ask.
“Even if they don’t meet the criteria for a food parcel they will still be welcomed and helped in whatever way the volunteers and staff here can.
“Everyone should know about the great work that these people are doing. Their help is invaluable in our community.”