Batley and Spen MP forms working party for new food bank

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood
Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood

Moves to establish a permanent food bank in Batley have taken a major step forward.

MP Mike Wood has initiated the project and invited members of the local Labour party to get together and form a working party.

They met at Batley Town Hall last week and will now look at working with organisations in the town who offer similar provision.

Between Central Methodists, Batley Christian Fellowship and the Trinity Centre at Batley Carr there are already either food parcels or meals available on certain days of the week.

The idea came after Mr Wood met Ben Haldane, who runs a food bank in Bradford, at an event at Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton.

He also supported a drive by Tesco to gather donations for food banks in their local stores.

Mr Wood said: “The number of people I am meeting and who are approaching my office for help who are in crisis financially is staggering. People who have had their benefits stopped, lost their jobs, families struggling to make ends meet, pensioners who have to choose between eating and heating.

“My hope is that we can complement the existing provision and work with the other organisations to offer a broader service to make sure anyone in need is getting help.”

The food bank would provide help to people in crisis who are referred by agencies such as social services, benefits advisers and CAB.

As well as developing links with other organisations and local businesses the working party will now look at gathering donations, raising funds and looking for premises.”