A new food bank will open in Harpenden on Friday to help people who are struggling to survive.

From the beginning of April 2013 to the end of March 2014, 17,968 people across Hertfordshire benefitted from three days’ emergency food from a food bank.

After many months of planning and preparation a new service will open at Batford Early Years Centre, Holcroft Road. Warehouse space is also being provided by Rothamsted Research.

The service is supported by Trussell Trust, a Christian charity, which has been helping communities nationwide to set up and run foodbanks to support people in crisis. 

Places of worship, schools, businesses and individuals donate food and often large collections take place at certain dates, like Harvest Festival.

Food can also be collected at supermarkets, where shoppers may be asked by volunteers to buy an extra item or two for residents in crisis.

Donations will be collated and sorted by volunteers at Rothamsted Research and it will then be packed in boxes to be given to people in need.

Doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice and police will also be able to issue vouchers to people that they identify as needing foodbank support. 

The vouchers can be redeemed at the foodbank distribution centre in Batford for three days emergency food.

Initially the food bank will be open every Friday between 1 to 3pm and it is anticipated that opening hours may be extended over the coming months.

Residents who can spare a few hours a week to help with sorting and packing food, collecting donations or distributing food at Batford Early Years Centre should contact  staadfoodbank@yahoo.co.uk or 07787 867703.