RUCKSACKS containing a sleeping bag, a stove and warm clothes are to be handed out to homeless people referred to a foodbank.
Men and women who are sleeping rough will be given the backpacks after a visit to Barrow Foodbank, thanks to new funding worth more than £20,000 over four years.
The money has been awarded by the Big Lottery to the Barrow Advice Hub, which is composed of Barrow Foodbank, Mind in Furness, Barrow Citizens Advice Bureau, the Barrow and District Disability Association and Project John.
The drive is in response to a growing need to support people living on the streets, with the project aimed at people struggling to cope or those who have been evicted.
Alison Griffiths, deputy project manager at Barrow Foodbank, says the project is to help people in extreme need.
She said: “The packs have been bought from Winfields and they include a rucksack that has got a sleeping bag, carrier mat, a stove, cooking things – and they get the food from us – a hat and gloves, and clean underwear.
“We are spending money on this because there have been 11 people identified as living on the streets in Barrow.
“They have to be referred to us by somebody who knows them at a referral agency. They will be known as homeless and it will say that on a normal foodbank voucher.”
The project is being aimed at people who are living rough rather than somebody who is “sofa surfing”.
It’s hoped the packs will stop homeless people from going hungry and give them something soft to lay down on rather than the ground or a bench.