Penzance family food bank 'begs people for help' amid soaring costs

Founder Julia Tucker is asking for £20 a month from 38 local businesses Credit: BPM Media

A Cornish food bank providing support to families most in need could be forced to close its doors due to rising costs.

Food for Families in Penzance is ‘begging people for help’ as it's struggling to find the money to cover the cost of rent and energy bills.

Based in an office space on Queen Street, the charity provides support to local families who struggle to buy essential items.

Its founder Julia Tucker says it’s in ‘desperate need of help’ and won’t be able to continue its services without financial support.

She’s asking for local businesses to come forward and offer a small amount of money each month to help the charity stay afloat.

Julia said: "We need £800 a month and that's just the rent and the electricity. We really want 38 local businesses to come forward at £20 a month because we need a sustainable income. We are begging for people to help."We do loads of fundraising but it's whether you get the funds or not. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.

“We do a lot of events and it's just not bringing in enough money for us to keep the building up and running. And for us to stay open, we need this building."

Food for Families works towards reducing food poverty in Penzance and the surrounding areas of West Penwith.

Julia says she needs to keep her rental space on Queen Street to run Food for Families Credit: BPM Media

"We are a heck of a lifeline. We have over 80 clients a month and it's been going up since October. We have such a rapport with our clients and that will be lost. We get to know their stories," Julia added.

"I had a lady at Christmas, she lives in a caravan and she had taken on her grandchildren - four of them.

“She told her grandchildren that she couldn't have a Christmas because she couldn't afford a box of chocolate. All her money was going towards the rented caravan. She said if it weren't for us, she didn't know what she'd do."

After already opening a best before store, Julia wants to open up part of her office space as a community larder, for people to have access to a safe place for a cup of coffee, a piece of cake and a chat.

She set up Food for Families back in 2018 when she started noticing those around her having to make a choice between heating or eating.

She began handing out emergency food parcels from her spare room in her home, with her first client being a 17-year-old homeless boy. For information about donating, visit the Food for Families Facebook page.