FOODBANK staff celebrated the official opening of a new community outreach service for Greenstead.

The weekly satellite service is being supported by East of England Co-op and will be held at Colchester Credit Union, in Hawthorn Avenue.

The opening was well attended with many representatives from the community, including the Colchester Credit Union.

The ribbon was cut by Colchester councillor Julie Young with help from Reverend Sue Howlett.

Julie Rusiecki, Greenstead Foodbank volunteer co-ordinator, has trained 16 volunteers.

Julie said: "We offer people a warm welcome, a tea or coffee and biscuits, a listening ear and emergency food parcels as well as signposting clients on to other relevant agencies that can support them and give the help they need."

Mike Beckett, chief officer at Colchester Foodbank, said demand for the service keeps increasing.

He said: "For example in the past week we ran out of tinned custard and tinned rice puddings and this week we are almost out of tinned fruit.

"We remain very low on long-life fruit juice, long-life milk, tinned fish and tinned tomatoes."

He added: "We remain very grateful for the 190 frontline agencies that refer clients to us.

"They make the decision about who is in crisis and needs our help.

"In Greenstead, this can be social workers, teachers, Jobcentre Plus and organisations like Signpost, Barnardo's children centre and St Andrew's Church."