ILKLEY supermarket Booths is continuing its support of a local food bank by offering training to the volunteers who run it.

Ilkley Food Bank was originally set up by Ilkley Churches Together to help local families who were struggling to provide food. There many reasons for which people might need help. For some it is short term emergency help, for others, (those on zero hour contracts, minimum wage, statutory sick pay or basic pensions), it may be longer term.

For over three years Booths has provided free storage and packing space for the food bank.

It has also been generous in giving food to the food bank and acting as a collection point for people who wish to make food donations.

Every week volunteers work in the store to manage stock and pick and pack food ready for distribution to individuals, families and groups in the local area.

Now, thanks to Booths, they have been trained in essential health and safety requirements to ensure they can carry out the work safely.

Rachel Costello, manager of Booths said: “We are delighted to be part of this scheme which was set up by Ilkley Churches Together and which is run entirely by 30 volunteers. Naturally health and safety, fire evacuation procedures and the use of equipment are important training matters not just for our staff but also for people operating in the warehouse and in-store. So we arranged to set aside some time to guide and inform people of these important aspects.”

The Ilkley Food Bank totally relies on the generosity of people’s donations so that every week those in need of food, both long and short term, as well as the provision of surplus food to the Women’s Refuge in Keighley, St George’s Crypt and the Bradford Refugees Group can be made available. In addition a recent unexpected contribution of £500 from the ‘Burley Festival’ will, with continued food donations, help maintain stocks in the future.

Jane Wearing of the Food Bank said: “Of course regular food giving is vital to our work as is the help and support of volunteers and our association with Booths and their providing of space and training are very important in maintaining our vital work”