Alston Moor is situated in the Cumbrian hills at the very top of the North Pennines. It is one of the most remote areas in the UK, with a population of around 2100 people spread over 60 square miles.
It has a survival culture, where people just get on with it. Most people work two jobs. There is a supportive community. People look out for each other.
Do you know anyone who may be struggling to buy sufficient food for themselves or their families? Alston Moor Food Bank will be able to help them. Residents who find themselves not having enough cash left to buy food can ring 01434 647247. Volunteers will either speak to them straight away or ring them back as soon as possible if they leave a contact number. The Food Bank volunteers will then buy a basket of basic items from shops in Alston and deliver them. The small team of volunteers take confidentiality very seriously, and they will act with discretion. They may also be able to help with signposting to other services.
How can I help the Food Bank?
A lot of people have said that they would like to donate food, but at the moment Alston Moor Food Bank does not have anywhere to store food. Some large food banks can make use of food donated by wholesalers and retailers, but that is not yet possible for our Food Bank.
Up to now the Food Bank has been operating using donations of money and grant funding. We will be looking for cash donations once we have secured charitable status and we can benefit from Gift Aid, which will mean an extra £1 income for every £4 donated.
The Alston Moor Food Bank was set up 9 years ago by a group which included Les and Di Wallace and others. Over the years the demand for help with food has been modest, but very significant for those clients. With the recent rise in food and energy prices the Trustees want to make sure that anyone in need of an emergency food delivery is able to get that in our community.
Many thanks go to Jim McCarry who has been Chairman in recent years, steering the organisation through the challenges of the pandemic.
We look forward to the day when Food Banks are no longer needed. In the meantime, if you know someone who would benefit, please ask them to get in touch. Flyers are available at the post offices, Local Links,and Alston Medical Practice.
Hazel Hanley, Chairperson Alston Moor Food Bank, November 2022