After years of volunteer work, Mark Whittington, runs Salford’s foodbank, which helps thousands of people in crisis each year.
Mr Whittington, 44, said: “I’ve been working for the foodbank for almost 4 years now. Initially, I was involved by being a trustee of The Trussell Trust charity, who run foodbanks nationwide. This progressed into a full-time job of managing the foodbanks in Salford, in April last year.”
Salford’s foodbank had 5,700 referrals last year, from people who cannot afford to buy basic food, for whatever reason.
The foodbank has already seen 1148 people this year so far, 433 of which are children.
Mr Whittington has been keeping the foodbank running by collecting donations in supermarkets, advertising on social media for donations and even makes the three-day emergency food packages for people who need them.
The three-day emergency food packages contain basic foods, such as pasta and cereal. Sometimes, hygiene essentials such as shampoo, shower gel, or even hygiene products, are added to the packages, based on the person’s needs. The packages can also cater to allergies and intolerances.
Mr Whittington continued to say: “Living in Salford, seeing the real need for our foodbanks and being around when the foodbank sessions have been on, you see that people are in a real crisis situation. The opportunity to help them through this foodbank in a simple, practical but highly effective way, is why I do what I do here.
“I continue to work here because there is such a need for foodbanks in Salford, you can see that in the numbers alone. But it’s not just that, its people we see week on week. They share their stories, their experiences. Many of them are in desperate situations.
“We often see people in tears, or on the verge of tears, they are embarrassed or ashamed. I continue to do the work I do because it helps them people, and that’s why I enjoy what I do.”
The foodbanks in Salford can be located on this map below:
To help the local foodbank, you can visit the page here, where you can find items the foodbanks in Salford are sort of, where you can donate food and even volunteer your time.
You can contact Salford’s Foodbank on 0161 637 4500 or email them on: firstname.lastname@example.org