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Greater Manchester no longer has a Police and Crime Commissioner. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has now taken responsibility for policing and crime.

Moss Side food bank provides lifeline to city’s needy

Elaine Leveridge, Tony Lloyd and Michelle Welch.

Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner dropped in to see the work of the Compassion Food Bank in Moss Side.

Based in the Church of God of Prophecy on Moss Lane East, the food bank helps local families and also provides a drop-in facility for ex-offenders.

Set up by friends Elaine Leveridge and Michelle Welch in January 2013, the food bank gives away thousands of meals each month. Many users of the service, from Moss Side, Hulme and across the city, are unable to find work and struggle to make ends meet. The food is donated by local people and supermarket collections.

Elaine Leveridge with the food bank volunteers

Tony said: “It was inspiring to meet Elaine, Michelle and the other volunteers who give up their own time to help people in need. They told me some shocking stories of people who have walked miles across Manchester to pick up a food parcel, and some who have considered shoplifting and even prostitution to feed themselves and their families.

“Just last week it was in the media about how much food we waste, when there are thousands of families going hungry. More and more people are struggling to make ends meet, driving some towards loan sharks and even crime to feed themselves and pay the household bills. This is unacceptable in this day in age and the Government needs to take action to protect our young and vulnerable from a life of poverty.”

Michelle Welch, Coordinator at the Compassion Food Bank, said: “It was great that Tony Lloyd came to see the work that we are doing at Compassion Food Bank. It was a very busy day so he got to see first-hand the food bank in action and to speak to our clients, many of whom might have turned to crime if they didn’t have our services to fall back on.”

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