Providing food to Barnsley families in crisis is the work of the Gateway food bank team.
The group, which started in February this year at Gateway Church in Mottram Street, Barnsley, was set up by seven volunteers led by co-ordinators Janet Crownshaw and Stephanie Aplin-Wakefield. In the first six months, they fed 1,042 people.
The food bank opens every Thursday from 11am to 1pm and provides an essential service for people experiencing crisis like sickness, unemployment, homelessness or problems with benefits.
These are the reasons why many cannot afford to feed their families. Janet Morris, of Cortworth Place, Elsecar, nominated the food bank team for a Proud of Barnsley award in the community group category.
She said: "I'm nominating them for their dedication and service." All volunteers at the food bank receive training and originally six agencies or partners signed up as referral agencies to issue food vouchers.
More than 465 vouchers were accepted in the first six months. The food bank now has 20 volunteers and 14 referral agencies.
Janet said: "Some of the new volunteers originally came as clients and coming here has helped them develop confidence and new skills.For some, this may help them get back into work."
The team issues enough food to fed a family for three days for each voucher produced and accepts no more than three vouchers per client per year.
Donations come from local people, churches and workplaces. Co-ordinators Janet and Stephanie have also negotiated partnerships with Fareshare, Morrisons supermarket, Barnsley, and Bookers wholesalers.
They manage a stock rotation system to ensure compliance with food safety law.
When clients visit, they get a warm welcome, refreshments and a listening ear.
Janet said: "Many clients are ashamed at having to seek what they see as charity and others are destitute, sleeping rough or have walked miles to get to the food bank."