Photo: Robert Attwood
By KLTV Newsdesk
A new food bank has opened in Heckmondwike Town centre this week after the need for a new one caught the attention of a local charity.
Local entrepreneur Shakeel Faraz and his charity, The Magic Wishing Well, decided to set up the food bank after hearing about the need for one in the area.
The new food bank is located on 9 Oldfield Lane in the centre of the town and will provide support either from walk-in visits or referrals.
Heckmondwike councillors Aafaq Butt and Steve Hall, as well as Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, were all in attendance.
Ms Brabin spoke to volunteers about how the food bank would operate and heard about how vital the foodbank is due to local families not being able to make ends meet and having to rely on charitable donations.
Commenting on the food bank opening, Ms Brabin said “It is heart-breaking that our community needs yet another food bank because local people are not able to afford something as basic as food.
“It is a damning indictment of years of failure to tackle food poverty and must be a wake-up call for those in power to do more to ensure nobody goes hungry.
“I am thankful to have such generous constituents who are prepared to volunteer their time, money and experience in setting up this food bank.
“They represent the best of Batley and Spen.”
Local entrepreneur Shakeel Faraz, who set up the food bank, said “As someone who is Heckmondwike born and bred, I am so happy to be able to give back to my local community by setting up this food bank.
“Whilst it is a sad state of affairs that in 2020 we still have people going hungry, I am determined to play my part in ensuring that local people get the support they need because I believe we all have a duty to help those who require it.
“I’d like to thank Tracy and local councillors Steve and Aafaq for supporting the food bank during our opening, as well as all our volunteers, donors and business partners who have made all this possible.
“If you are struggling and need support, Heckmondwike Food Bank is here to help.”