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Homeless people across Harlow can rely on a charity for even more essential items during 2012.
The Harlow Foodbank is providing improved foodboxes to vulnerably housed and homeless people in the area.
The Homeless Foodbox will now include plastic knives and forks and a tin opener alongside traditional food items and toiletries following improvements made in October.
Homeless people can obtain a box by visiting a Streets 2 Homes charity office in Harlow to receive a voucher. This can be exchanged at a Harlow Foodbank satellite centre for a Homeless Foodbox.
The improvements to the foodboxes were made following consultations with homeless people living in the area who used the service last year.
Sandy Price, satellite co-ordinator for the foodbank, said: "It was very clear from this consultation period that many of the existing food items were unsuitable for homeless people who had no access to hot water, microwaves or cookers.
"It was also noted that there was a need for a tin opener and plastic cutlery, which has now been included within the new foodbox.
"To complete the box we have added useful toiletry items like toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, comb, soap, deodorant, baby wipes, toilet roll/sheets and some nail clippers."
The Harlow Foodbank, run by the Michael Roberts Charitable Trust (MRCT), is a community project working in partnership with front-line care professionals, churches, schools, businesses, supermarkets and individuals in Harlow to provide emergency food for people in crisis.
To donate items to the foodbank call the MRCT office on 01279 724515.