IN its search for a new home, Bridgwater Food Bank has released details of the heartbreaking real-life stories of people who depend on the service.
The Food Bank, currently operating at a temporary base at the Mount Street Day Centre, has until March 31 to find a new base - or face closure.
As part of the Mercury's support for the Food Bank, the centre has agreed to give case studies of real people who use the service, but their names have been changed to protect their identities.
LAURA is a grandmother to four children under the age of five. She has been given custody of all of her grandchildren to prevent them being placed into foster care, due to domestic problems within the family.
The children were already in the benefit system and the child benefit was being paid to the parents, so Laura had to apply to get this changed.
It took around four weeks until the matter was resolved, but it meant Laura would have to keep the children on money that was meant to keep her only. The Food Bank was able to help.
THERESA and Tony are victims of the flooding at Moorland and were sent to the Food Bank by a police officer working in the area.
They did not need bedding or clothing, as they had managed to secure them for themselves.
They were staying at a relative's house and were able to cook and keep themselves in good condition, but they needed short term help to feed themselves and their child. The Food Bank helped them.
MAUREEN came to the Food Bank with her two children (four and 18 months old) because her husband of six years had left her to start another life with a new partner.
He had drawn out all the funds in the bank account and stopped money being paid in from his wages.
Maureen had managed to survive for a few weeks by living out of the freezer and the cupboards and with the aid of friends.
She was seeking advice and help from the benefits office, but there was a delay in both of these areas.
She needed help right then and when asked when they had last eaten, she said that none of them had had any food for three days. The Food Bank was able to assist her.
TIME is running out and the team says if it does not find a new base, it will have to close. If you are able to help with a premises please contact the team at bridgwater.foodbank.org.uk or on 07804-119273.