Esh Construction and Gentoo have officially opened a new foodbank in Houghton’s Churchill Square Community Centre which will provide residents in need with vital food resources.
The foodbank will be operated by Sunderland Foodbank, adding to the 12 foodbanks already established in the Wearside region. Using a voucher referral system, families that need support can visit the community centre on Churchill Square to access food and essential items.
Esh Construction is working in partnership with Gentoo on a £12 million internal modernisation programme and committed to funding the new foodbank as part of the scheme’s social value outcomes.
Mandy Lowther, customer care manager at Esh Construction, said: “At Esh, we are always looking at ways to support and enrich our local communities. We are proud to support the opening of this new foodbank, in collaboration with Gentoo, which will provide invaluable support for families that may be struggling at a time when cost of living is becoming increasingly difficult.”
Simone Green, network support officer for Sunderland Foodbank, said: “It is extremely important in this current economic crisis to be able to feed and support vulnerable people and families in our local communities. Houghton is my home town, so being able to set up this Foodbank within my local community is something close to my heart.”
At the end of last year, Gentoo asked more than 1500 customers in a survey how they were feeling about the cost-of-living crisis. More than 70% said they had used a foodbank in the previous 6 months, with 22% saying buying food was one of their biggest concerns.
Louise Bassett, chief executive officer at Gentoo, said: “The results of our customer survey highlighted how important charities such as Sunderland Foodbank are during these challenging times.
“We are committed to supporting our customers and the residents of Sunderland, which is why we were happy to provide our community centre at Churchill Square as a base to support volunteers at the foodbank. We will continue to support the foodbank to ensure residents have access to the food and supplies they need.”
At Esh, we are always looking at ways to support and enrich our local communities. We are proud to support the opening of this new foodbank, in collaboration with Gentoo, which will provide invaluable support for families that may be struggling at a time when cost of living is becoming increasingly difficult."