A LONG-term solution for the Swindon Foodbank is yet to be found.

But the foodbank is understood to have been saved from immediate closure.

The foodbank will remain open for the immediate future with support from national foodbank charity the Trussell Trust, the council said yesterday.

It had been feared that the vital service, which last year gave out more than 5,000 emergency food parcels, would close on May 31.

Trustees of Swindon Christian Community Projects, which manages the foodbank, Renew and Men’s Sheds, blamed the decision to shut on governance problems and funding issues.

Mike Ash, head of housing, told the Swindon Advertiser: “The good news is that interim arrangements are being developed with the current provider beyond May and the volunteer base remains strong and engaged.

“The intention is that the warehouse, which remains well stocked, will continue to operate as well as all of the distribution points across the borough.

“The council will continue to support, although we recognise that the ultimate solution will be external to our own operational activity. Whatever advice and technical expertise we can offer, we will.”

Bob Hayward, chairman of trustees at SCCP, said that the charity had secured the foodbank’s Bible Society-owned warehouse in Westlea until December 2018. The warehouse is owned by the Bible Society.

A long-term solution has yet to be found. However, he suggested that the existing Swindon Foodbank could fracture into a number of foodbanks operated by a different churches.

Mr Hayward said the trustees were working on interim arrangements and urged other partners and volunteers to work with them: “If we all pull together whatever the politics, what’s most important is that people in this town have a source of emergency food. I’m broken hearted that it’s come to this. I want to work collaboratively.”

One volunteer questioned the interim arrangements: “We don't know if we can use the fuel card for the vans, if the rent has been paid, if we still have insurance. These are the things we need to know. Our clients want and need to know if we'll be there long term.”