Food bank thanks councillors after donation bolsters stocks for needy residents

Coun Gladys Hobson and Coun Norman Dick hand over donations from the South Shields Labour Party
Coun Gladys Hobson and Coun Norman Dick hand over donations from the South Shields Labour Party

Members of a South Tyneside food bank has thanked the public for helping to bolster its stores at Christmas as South Shields Labour Party hand over donations.

Coun Norman Dick and Coun Gladys Hobson called into Hospitality and Hope to hand over items collected during a recent meeting of the Labour Group.

We have had the most donations this Christmas than we have ever had

Pauline Tinnelly

The charity was founded by Amelia Luffrum in 2002, who started by handing out food from the back of her car.

Since then the organisation, based in Hampden Street, South Shields, has grown with volunteers providing a weekly soup kitchen.

More recently it has opened up a community cafe, opposite Chichester Metro, which will eventually provide a place for people to gain work experience in the hope of helping to gaining employment, a supported living project for up to five men to help them to get back on their feet.

The donation comes as the charity says it has received a record number of donations of food and clothes parcels.

Pauline Tinnelly, chairman of the trustees said: “I was contacted by the leader of the council who said there would a Labour Party meeting, and they had chosen to sponsor Hospitality and Hope.

“He wanted to find out the kind of items we needed. We were absolutely delighted at what we received from the Labour party.

“As well as saying thank you to the member of the South Shields Labour Party, on behalf of the trustees I would like to say a big thank you to the public.

“We have had the most donations this Christmas than we have ever had.

“We would like to say a since thank you to everyone who had supported Hospitality and Hope, from donating food and clothes, to the volunteers - it really has been amazing.

“To the public, businesses and churches we also thank you, for your support.”

The Centre in Hampden Street, South Shields is open to receive donations of food and clothing from 9am until 2pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and volunteers work preparing parcels of emergency food and support for needy clients, who are referred by social services and other organisations dealing with people in crisis.

A spokesman for the South Shields Labour Party said: “Food banks help to prevent family breakdown, housing loss, crime and mental health problems and South Shields Labour Party is pleased to support them.”