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Council pledges to support Thurrock foodbank
A COUNCILLOR shared the moving reason he has pledged his support for Thurrock Foodbank.
Labour’s Steve Liddiard put forward a motion to support and promote the foodbank, after being told a heart-warming story about the good work it does.
He said: “I was moved to this motion forward after hearing about a man who came to the foodbank at St John’s in Tilbury.
“He was a father , a proud man, and was emabrrassed to have to ask for help.
“He left the foodbank with three boxes of food and with tears in his eyes.
“I’ll leave you to think on that.”
Conservative leader Phil Anderson gave his support to the motion, which passed unanimously by the chamber.
He revealed he had stood with volunteers in Corringham and was “amazed by the warmth and generosity” of ordinary people who donated.
Councillor Anderson also said the council hasn’t done enough so far to support the foodbank, which is struggling to find storage space.
He said: “Months ago the foodbank came to the council with a simple request to use a redundant church hall on council land in South Ockendon as storage for donated food items.
“Months later, it seems that this council is still no closer to giving a definite answer.
“The foodbank have now had to use precious volunteer hours, not collecting donations or distributing them to families in need, but moving items from one temporary storage location to another.
“I would have expected that as a council we would have done everything possible to help this initiative to succeed. Instead, we have failed even to produce a straight answer to a simple request.
“Actions speak louder than words, and while our words have been great, our actions have seriously damaged this council’s standing and reputation in the local community and the voluntary sector.
“It is never too late to put things right, and I am urging members to send a clear message of commitment to see this happen.”
Labour councillors Val Morris-Cook and Phil Smith led the calls for councillors and council staff to bring in food for the charity.
Council leader John Kent urged officers to see if there were any vacant council buildings the charity could use for storage.