SHIPSTON residents suffering hardship have been thrown a lifeline with the launch of a new food bank.

The service was set up at St Edmund’s Church last month, and has already provided help to many people in need thanks to donations from the congregation.

It joins many other food banks set up across the UK in a network supported by Christian charity The Trussell Trust.

Rev Dr Jill Tucker said the food bank was set up after it became clear some residents were getting into difficulty.

“We had an individual or two who have just run out of food,” she said. “They were living on very small amounts of day-to-day spending money so we began to set it up.

“We clearly have people around here who are not quite making ends meet.

Every vicar around here will tell you it looks like a chocolate box village but it’s not.

“Elderly people just can’t get to the shops. The level of transport is an issue in these rural communities.” People who are experiencing crisis can receive three days’ emergency non-perishable food after being issued with a food voucher from care professionals such as doctors and social workers.

Residents can drop in to the church from 10am to 3pm on Wednesdays.

“The real problem around here is not an abject level of absolute poverty but what you will have is people who can’t manage their money or have a temporary blip in between jobs and benefits.

“For the younger people it’s not having enough money, it’s managing it. For the elderly it’s having to choose between whether to keep the house or buy food,” added Rev Tucker.

􀁥 The North Cotswold Food bank, which has outlets in Winchcombe, Chipping Campden, Moreton and Bourton, has fed 800 people and has received nine-and-a-half tonnes of donations since it launched last December.