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Wednesday, 04 March 2015

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Carlisle Foodbank issues appeal as supplies run low

An urgent appeal has been issued for items for a foodbank – as organisers reveal some shelves of the cupboard are completely bare.

Rachael Rodway photo
Rachael Rodway

Despite national reassurances that the economic tide has turned, Carlisle Foodbank has seen a continued rise in the number of people seeking its help.

It offers three-day “crisis parcels” for individuals and families who have hit rock bottom.

The public have answered every call for help and the foodbank has a steady supply of some items.

However, Rachael Rodway, one of the organisers, revealed that they have almost completely run out of some food groups.

“We are almost out of tinned puddings, tinned fruit and custards,” she explained. “We always need some items such as small sachets of sugar and long-life milk, but these other items are especially urgent.”

Every food parcel is individually made up by volunteers from the food donated, and then placed into “bag for life” bags.

Rachael said: “We actually buy these bags in: some foodbanks give you your food in a cardboard box. I feel that if you can leave here carrying a supermarket bag for life, then at least you might look as if you have been to the supermarket.

“It is about pride.”

Each food parcel is supposed to provide a person with three meals a day, for three days. It includes staples such as cereal, pasta, rice, tinned vegetables and fruit, puddings, custard, biscuits, tea or coffee, and sauces.

“However, we have to be even more careful with some parcels,” Rachel explained. “It is no longer a Department of Work and Pensions requirement for a home to have a cooker.

“Some people only have a kettle and a microwave, so we have to be able to supply food that could still be cooked and eaten.”

Food parcels are only – theoretically – provided to people three times in a row, as they are not designed to be a diet choice.

Recipients can only obtain a food parcel after being referred by a specific organisation, such as the Community Mental Health Service, city council or housing association.

The foodbank, based out of the Salvation Army building on St Nicholas Street, is open for collections from 1pm to 3pm on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. It is manned entirely by volunteers.


  • Carlisle Civic Centre, Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm and Friday, 9am-4pm
  • Carlisle World Shop, Lowthians Lane, Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-5pm
  • Salvation Army Shop, Wigton Road, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Carlisle East Community Fire Station, Eastern Way, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • Carlisle West Community Fire Station, Brookside, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm
  • The Co-operative Stores in Wigton Road and Blackwell Road. See stores for opening times


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