Since 2014 a member of Andrew Jones MP’s casework team has been at almost every session of Harrogate Foodbank to offer advice and support. During the pandemic though the service had to become a telephone-only operation.
Now Mr Jones’s caseworkers are back face-to-face at the Foodbank every Tuesday and Friday between 11am and 12noon. They offer specialist support with benefits, housing and immigration as well as signposting people to external support with health matters and budgeting.
Commenting, Mr Jones said: “Often the issues which cause people to visit Foodbanks are a lack of access to benefits or not knowing who they can turn to for support. Foodbanks are invaluable for giving crisis support but it is important that we tackle the long-term underlying problems which cause people to visit Foodbanks in the first place.
“Over the years my casework team have helped hundreds steer the maze which is the benefits system to get cash which is available to them. We have worked with the council to ensure people place on the housing list is correct and all their circumstances are fully considered. We have worked with GPs and the health service to ensure people are getting the correct mental and physical health support.
“Now we are getting back to some semblance of normality I am grateful to my caseworkers Matt and Stephen for resuming their face-to-face role at the Foodbank helping me support the most vulnerable in our community.”
Harrogate Foodbank is open for donations and referrals from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays at Mowbray Community Church on Westmoreland Street. More information can be found at https://harrogatedistrict.foodbank.org.uk.
Pictured above: caseworker Stephen Culpin (left) and Matt Scott with Andrew Jones.