Record numbers at the drop-in centre

Hundreds of homeless and vulnerable people in Halifax were given food and support over the festive period.

The award winning Food and Support Drop In hands out food parcels and provides advice and support to those who need it most every Saturday morning at the Ebenezer Church on St James Road in Halifax.

On December 17, volunteers gave out a record 150 food parcels in preparation for Christmas.

Then on Christmas Eve, they gave out 125 food parcels and a further 117 on New Year’s Eve.

On Christmas Day, 51 clients sat down for dinner at the church with 22 volunteers.

The clients sat down together for a turkey dinner with vegetables.

The catering was provided by family run caterers SMiLES of Brighouse, with other donations from Sainsbury’s in Brighouse and Parfetts cash and carry.

Lisa Cox from the Food and Support Drop In, said: “People were not sure if we were going to be open over Christmas so we had a record number who came down to stock up,” she said.

“On Christmas Day it was quite chaotic but there was a really nice atmosphere and everyone was grateful,” she said.

Antony Edwards, from SMiLES, said he enjoyed Christmas Day at the church.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do since last year,” said Antony, who runs Smiles with his wife Angie and their family.

“If anything there was a bit more pressure because we didn’t know how many we were cooking for or how demanding the people would be, but it was a very enjoyable experience,” he said.

“Almost everyone came up to us afterwards and thanked us, which you so rarely get with people who have paid hundreds of pounds for catering. It was very humbling.”

“There was a jolly atmosphere in there and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year.”

Last year the Food and Support Drop In won Charity of the Year at the Courier’s Community and Environment awards.

As well as food packages, which include essentials like tined food, pasta and sauce and toiletries, the volunteers provide advice on housing and benefits.