A new initiative to provide food for people in the most desperate need has been launched in Norfolk.

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A 20-strong group of volunteers from the newly-formed Waveney Foodbank held their first collection day outside Budgens in Harleston on Saturday to collect food and other donations from shoppers to help families and individuals who have hit on hard times due to redundancy, bereavement or other crises.

The donations, which included nappies and baby products, will be distributed to people who have been recommended to the Foodbank scheme by social care agencies, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The recipient is given a voucher which they can then take to a Foodbank distribution point to be exchanged for food. In Diss, the distribution point is set to be at Diss Christian Community Church’s Number 7 base in Mere Street.

The Foodbank scheme was set up by the charity the Trussell Trust to help the 13 million people living below the poverty line in the UK and involves the charity partnering with churches to distribute enough food to last at least three days.

The Waveney initiative is currently being run in conjunction with the Norwich scheme and involves volunteers from all faiths.

Since the first Foodbank was launched from a garden shed in Salisbury in 2000, numbers have grown nationwide and in Norfolk Foodbanks have already been established in Norwich, Wymondham, Aylsham, King’s Lynn and Thetford.

Matthew and Michala Scade, Jim and Margaret Wilde and Graham Reardon were among the volunteers outside Budgens on Saturday.

Mr Scade said: “Our main aim is to help the community. It is a hand up, rather than a handout. It is just to help people for a few weeks or so.”

The type of food and drink the Foodbank is particularly seeking includes milk, fruit juice, pasta sauces, tinned tomatoes, tinned rice pudding, instant mash potato, sugar and sponge pudding.

The team is also seeking a warehouse in the Diss area to store the food prior to distribution.

If anyone can help or wishes to donate, phone Graham on 01379 873335.

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