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Food parcels needed to help pupils in Nelson
11:40am Saturday 16th June 2012 in News
VITAL food parcels are needed so East Lancashire youngsters are not left hungry in lessons, a councillor has insisted.
School dinner ladies in Nelson have reported pupils turning up with only a single sandwich or just biscuits to see them through till tea-time, says Coun Eileen Ansar.
Now she is calling for more charities to bring food banks to the Pendle town to help out hard-hit young families.
Coun Ansar says that families are being faced with a choice between keeping a roof over their heads and eating three square meals a day.
Housing benefit of £55 per week was not adequate when the average rent in Nelson is around £88, she said.
Coun Ansar added: “There are dinner ladies who have told us that children are turning up at school with only a couple of slices of bread or some biscuits.
“Mothers are having to choose between having to eat or being able to pay the rent, which is terrible.
“There are a couple of charities which are looking at the situation but we need to get more people involved.”
Community Solutions Lancashire has teamed up with the Grassroots organisation, based at Nelson’s St Philip’s Church, in a bid to examine the problem.
Food parcels are being offered to families in crisis but community workers are still trying to assess the extent of the problem.
Mark Hirst, a director at Community Solutions, said: “We are very keen to partner any organisation who wants to set up a food bank and we received a phone call from Suzanne Waddicor at Grassroots.”
He said that demand for food parcels had increased, in the current economic climate, and his organisation had recently secured warehouse premises in Burnley to expand their operation.