STORAGE shelves are heaving after Malvern’s new foodbank opened.

Having leapt into operation to provide emergency food to families in need over the Christmas holidays, the new charity has formally opened this week.

Over the past few weeks donations have enabled it to build up a stockpile of almost 1.5 tonnes of food – although chairman David Wareing said this will need constant replenishing and has no idea how quickly stocks will run out.

The charity, set up in partnership with the Trussell Trust, has also amassed a small army of about 70 volunteers who have now been trained to help sort and distribute the food.

The foodbank, on Howsell Industrial Estate, Malvern Link, will initially be opening its doors twice a week, on Monday and Thursday mornings. Volunteers will prepare food parcels between 9am and 11am and then distribute them to referred clients between 11am and 1pm.

Those referrals will come from a wide range of agencies, including Sunshine and Evergreen children’s centres in Malvern, Hope Unlimited, Christians Against Poverty and the Citizens Advice Bureau. Mr Wareing said more referral agencies would be added as the foodbank gets up and running and there is a better idea of overall need and demand.

He said: “Opening days will also be added depending upon demand and as we get volunteers trained up. We are also putting in place a system for providing emergency parcels outside of these hours.”