A DARLINGTON man who donated a month's worth of food to a struggling Darlington family is set to help open a new foodbank in the town's Cornerstone Arts Centre with the help of the arts centre. 

The facility is to be a 'no questions asked' foodbank to allow those who are struggling to receive a food parcel more easily.

The foodbank, which will be based in Darlington Arts Centre in the town centre, will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays when other foodbanks are usually closed.

There is currently fridge space available for the foodbank that was previously used by M&S.

Carl Miller said: “There’s no provisions on a weekend for families or people that need food really.

“I want to run the foodbank when other foodbanks aren’t running – so Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays.

“If we go into lockdown, pubs and restaurants are going to be hit, but one of the positives of this is that the food from these restaurants can go to people in need.

“We’ve only started getting donations in today but things are in place now and we have the space so we will be opened this Saturday, guaranteed.

“Both Councillor’s Sajna Ali and Jon Clarke have been very supportive and Iceland have already made donations."

As well as Iceland, Cornerstone Arts are working with Poundland as well as other venues to receive donations, and are open to the public to make any donations if they are able.

The foodbank is a coordinated effort between Carl and Steven Morgan, foodbank coordinator, Darlington Arts Centre, and has also received support from Couincillor's Sajna Ali and Jon Clarke. 

Steven Morgan, foodbank coordinator, said: “We have a big loading bay to allow the food to come in and out and that is all covered by cameras to ensure that we have security.

“We are unsure at the moment as to how many food parcels we will be producing, but the we had a good response over half term – I believe we delivered 75 food parcels in one day.

“We can’t just be handing out parcels out to everyone. As much as it is no questions asked, we still need to have a system in place that monitors potentially where the parcel is going and we will be making sure to keep records."

The foodbank is also looking to provide a secure area where police can receive a one-time passcode to allow them to pick up a food parcel when the foodbank is closed.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is also supporting the new foodbank.

l NQA Foodbank will be opening this Saturday and is asking for donations of dried, fresh and tinned food as well as pet food. A GoFundMe has been set up where people can help with costs.

The foodbank's facebook page can be found here

And if you wish to donate to the foodbank you can get into contact with the foodbank through this email: nqa@darlo.biz