Somer Valley Food Bank gives out first food parcels

Food bank collection in Midsomer Norton
Image caption A supermarket collection in December saw almost 1.5 tonnes of food donated

A new food bank in Somerset is due to hand out its first food parcels.

The Somer Valley Food Bank, which will help people in the Radstock and Midsomer Norton area, has been collecting provisions since the autumn.

It now has four tonnes of dried and tinned food, biscuits and cereals, ready to hand out to people in need.

Recipients will be referred by doctors, other health professionals and citizens advice services and given a voucher to claim the food.

"This [service] is for families to manage over a crisis until they get themselves sorted out," said project coordinator Joy Fraser.

"It may be a late payment of benefits, it may be a big bill that's come in.

"'Do I repair the car or do I feed the kids?' Those are the kind of situations that we are trying to help with."

The free emergency food parcels which the food bank will give out are designed to last for three days.

The parcels are given out via referrals from registered care professionals such a social services, schools and churches.

In October 2012 the Salvation Army appealed for 100 helpers for the service and was "overwhelmed" by more than 150 volunteers offering help and support.

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