Q&A - Devizes and District Foodbank
09 October 2020
The pandemic has caused untold challenges for communities up and down the UK and sadly, there has been a sharp rise in those using foodbanks.
We caught up with Liz Starling, the Project Manager at Devizes and District Foodbank to hear more about the work they do to help out those in need, local to our community in Marlborough.
Can you tell us about the Devizes and District Foodbank and how it was established?
Devizes and District Foodbank was founded in 2007 by local churches and community groups, working together towards relieving hunger in Devizes, Marlborough and Pewsey and the surrounding areas within the SN10, SN8 and SN9 postcodes.
We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
What other services does the Foodbank offer?
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers will sit down and talk to the clients and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problems.
How can others help support your work in the community?
We want to make sure that no one in our local community has to go hungry, but we need help to make this happen. Gifts of financial support, time, business partnerships and food can make a real difference to our work.
What is your role at the foodbank?
I am the Project Manager and am responsible for the central management and coordination of Devizes and District Foodbank. I work alongside Michelle Russell who is the Foodbank Volunteer and Food Manager.
Having previously worked as a Debt and Benefit Advisor in social housing for nine years, I am very aware of the difference that an emergency food box can help someone who is at a crisis point in their life.