SUZANNE Storey dedicates up to seven days a week to helping feed those in need in Barnsley.
As manager of Barnsley Foodbank Partnership, the 62-year-old mum and grandmother admits to spinning a lot of plates in her role but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This job is a big part of my life – I feel really privileged to do it we do it for people in need.
“It’s so sad that in this day and age there are people facing this but thanks to the generosity of the people of Barnsley, who really are the salt of the earth, we can help.
“It’s amazing what people do we had a food collection drive at Tesco in Hoyland recently and a woman came to us with a full trolley of food and donated it all.
She said that 12 months ago she had to come to the foodbank to get help and this was her way of giving back.
“I’m also very lucky to have an amazing team without our volunteers we wouldn’t exist. They are our drivers, they sort stock and hand over the food parcels.”
Barnsley Foodbank Partnership has been running for ten years and was founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in our local area.
It’s also part of the Trussell Trust organisation and Suzanne, who has been manager for almost five years, says demand for the service just keeps on growing.
“Before Covid our vision was that at some point there would no longer be a need for foodbanks that’s still our vision eventually but with the cost of living crisis and rises in mortgage and rent costs, more and more people find themselves in crisis.
“People who come to us are often in work but they are struggling. When we started we didn’t have any over 65s coming to us, now we do. It’s hitting lots of different people.”
The thousands of food parcels distributed are testament to the need 10,687 individuals received food parcels between June 2022 and June 2023 from the foodbank.
Based in Wombwell, the partnership has numerous donation drop-off points, including the local Tesco stores.
It offers a wraparound service and signposts foodbank users to other help or advice they might need.
Suzanne, who lives in Shafton, has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award in the Community Hero category.
The nomination paid tribute to Suzanne’s dedication and hard work: “Suzanne dedicates up to seven days a week to the food bank, often taking part in community events or working over the weekends.
“She has a passion for the community and always puts her team first, especially the dedicated volunteers.
“She works closely with Tesco Community Champions, donating her own time to ensuring foodbank Tesco collections run smoothly and always gives 110 per cent in representing the foodbank.
“Suzanne has worked through a global pandemic and continues to power through a national cost of living crisis, taking everything with a spring in her step and never without a smile on her face.
“She is compassionate, dedicated and so caring. Her staff and volunteers have the absolute utmost respect for her and she is known as the ‘mother hen’ of the team.
“She is the true definition of Community Hero. She changes lives daily and deserves to be recognised for this.”
Suzanne said: “I felt really humble when I heard about the nomination. If I can make a difference to someone’s life then that’s what I want to do and I love my job so much but couldn’t do what I do without the team I have around me.”