A FOODBANK boss is urging people to ‘keep an eye on their neighbours’ after shock figures reveal-ed more children in Blackburn with Darwen were malnourished than anywhere else in the UK.
A Lancashire Telegraph investigation earlier this week found an alarming 3.5per cent of year six pupils in Blackburn with Darwen were clinically underweight.
It comes at a time when demand for foodbanks has soared in recent years.
Zillah Griffin, founder of the Darwen Food Larder, said there were a number of ways to access food for those struggling with poverty.
And she urged people to look out for one another.
She said: “We do get people com-ing to us with concerns about their neighbours.
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“It is important to keep an eye on other people who may slip into poverty.
“But if somebody was worried and wanted to access food parcels for them-selves, there are lots of ways to get a referral.
“If they are on benefits, they will be in touch with social workers, or health visitors.
“They can speak to the school, or go and see the doctor who will look into their situation for them.”
Once referred to the foodbank, they will be given a range of foods to make healthy meals.
She said: “We try to make a parcel that contains en-ough food to make a bal-anced meal.
“There will be a tin of meat with a tin of vegetables, and some sort of pasta and sauce, or rice.
“One of our volunteers also cooks meals for those that don’t have electricity, or gas, in their homes.”
Mrs Griffin said, although those visiting a foodbank may feel embarrassed, there was no shame in it.
She said: “If someone is in work and cannot afford to feed their family, they are going to feel pretty horrible and embarrassed.But they will not get scorned.
‘The people will listen to them.
“People have come abs-olutely distraught because they have had to come to the foodbank and they are ashamed, but there is no shame in it.”