Foodbank and churches in South Tyneside step up their efforts during lockdown

Efforts are being stepped up to ensure that no one in South Tyneside goes hungry during the latest lockdown.

South Tyneside Churches Together, a multi-denominational group, and the Key2Life foodbank have stepped up to provide support in the area for those who need it most.

Although the initiative has been around for some time, organisers felt it was time to do more to offer support, especially during the latest lockdown which will last until at least December 2.

There are extra spaces now on offer for people to collect a family hamper or emergency food parcel from church buildings currently closed to public worship, but allowed to stay open to care for others.

From left, pastoral care assistant Jacki Dunn, Revd Lesley Jones and Marie Burnett of Key 2 Life. Picture by Stu Norton.

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The sessions are now up and running. They are also discreet and completely confidential. It is possible for people to receive deliveries too.

Alternatively, those who need to can call in to collect a parcel at St Peter’s Church Centre, York Avenue, Jarrow on Tuesdays 11am to 1pm, or St John the Baptist Church, Nairn Street, Jarrow Thursdays 11am to 1pm.

St Simon's Church on Wenlock Road in South Shields provides the same service on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm.

Appointed in September 2020, Revd Lesley Jones is the new Rector of Jarrow and Simonside. She is responsible for looking after all three of the churches.

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She said: “I have listened carefully to local people and heard of the pressing issues they face – difficulties made even worse by Covid-19. The church is here to help and we will do what we can to offer practical help and support.”

In addition to the food parcels, there is also a dedicated helpline for anyone who could use some other sort of help and support. It may be help with shopping, needing someone to talk to, prescription collection, or arranging a (socially distanced) chat at the garden gate.

The helpline is open from 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Thursday and Saturdays too, with members of the team available to help. The number to call is 07306 168951.

Donations can be made to the project, either online or in person. For more details, visit www.keyproject.org.uk/donate

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