Sir George visited the Andover Foodbank, based at St John the Baptist Church in Andover. Eight years ago, Sir George opened the foodbank, and he went back to catch up on its news.
"Since the opening, Andover Foodbank has broadened its reach, and the premises at St John the Baptist Church are basically a warehouse, which supplies a number of outlets in Test Valley, but also in parts of Wiltshire and Basingstoke and Deane. I pay tribute to the 70 registered volunteers who give up their time and energy to keep the show on the road, and also I pay tribute to the generosity of local people, who donate both food and cash to help the foodbank. Those who run the foodbank are anxious to address the causes of food poverty, which is why they work with their partners at professional care agencies to help resolve the longer term issues that confront those they support."
Sir George was told that, because of the growth of Andover Foodbank, they have needed additional warehouse capacity, which they have now got on the West Portway Industrial Estate. This is putting pressure on costs, and they will be seeking funding so they can continue working efficiently and effectively.
Sir George met Jamie Symington, the Chairman, and Annie Mihell, the Secretary.
"Nearly six thousand people were helped by the Andover Foodbank in 2013, an increase of 29% on the previous year. The principle cause of demand for the foodbank was benefit delay. As the local MP, I will, of course, do all I can to help people whose benefit has been held up, as I know that this can cause great problems."