The Calderdale Food and Support Drop-In Centre at New Ebenezer Church, Halifax, helps to feed some of our most vulnerable members of society through handing-out around 150 food parcels, each week.
The Church has been used as a food bank and crisis centre since 2009, and is run by Christians Together Calderdale. It has been supported by individuals and local churches, as well as donations from organisations and small business to provide a weekly drop-in service of food parcels and support to people and families struggling to cope.
Since then, Christian Together Calderdale estimate that about £946,000 worth of practical and volunteer support has been given to the people of Calderdale, through food parcels, shelter and advice.
On Monday 15 September, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet is discussing how the Council can help the group extend what they do at the centre by offering them a licence at a‘peppercorn rent’ at Ebenezer Centre adjacent to the Church, which has become vacant.
The Centre is owned by Calderdale Council, and was previously used as Council offices. The Council has been in talks with the Christians Together Calderdale group for some time, discussing how the Centre could help meet the increase in demand for food parcels and also provide other support to their visitors which will help them turn their lives around, like money advice and skills, supporting people with mental health or other health issues, kitchen and cooking skills.
They are also looking into operating a not for profit café and a night shelter from the building during January and February.
Calderdale Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Scott Benton, said:
“It’s great that we are able to offer the Christians Together Calderdale group a viable way to extend their good work in the Calderdale community.
“Providing a licence on the Centre is the logical next step forward for the building. The group support those most in need in Calderdale, so I’m pleased we have the opportunity to help them increase the amount of services they can offer.”
Linda Maslen from the Christians Together Calderdale group, said:
“The Halifax Food and Support Drop is the main food bank for the area, and due to the increased demand for this service, the Church building has now become too small.
“Some of the people we’ve helped include one person who was found living in a dustbin and was an alcoholic who is now dry and living in a flat with a job, another was found on the streets of Huddersfield by the Street Angels, then helped by our Drop In then Saturday Gathering and is now attending Calderdale College studying for a degree. By using the adjacent Centre we can build on the work we have already done; supporting people in crisis.”
Members will discuss the plans for the Centre at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 15 September, from 6pm at Halifax Town Hall.