Tyne & Wear

Benwell food bank featured in I, Daniel Blake film reopens

Vandalism Image copyright WEfoodbank
Image caption Manager Michael Nixon said the vandals were "mindless" and probably looking for money

A food bank featured in the Bafta award-winning film I, Daniel Blake, which was forced to close due to a vandal attack, has reopened.

Church of the Venerable Bede in West Road, Benwell, closed after a fire extinguisher was used to smash its windows and damage the main hall.

Food bank manager Michael Nixon said about 1,000 families missed getting food parcels due to the vandalism.

He said a glazier firm had offered to fix the damage for free.

Mr Nixon said the project had also received £2,500 in donations.

'Faith in humanity'

He said: "We are limping along and are in disarray after having to close for a few days, which meant hundreds of families missing out.

"When I saw the damage I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.

"But now my faith in humanity has been restored - a glazier firm has offered their services for free and they will come next week to repair our windows."

Mr Nixon said vandals carried out three separate break-ins in a week and were probably looking for cash to steal.

He said they also "mindlessly" smashed up the hall causing £2,000 worth of damage.

As well as food parcels, the bank also provides dozens of free, hot meals every day.

The parcels contain enough food for nine meals and are given out to between 40,000 and 50,000 families a year.

I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man who ends up being plunged into poverty and losing his disability allowance after being diagnosed with a heart problem.

Director Ken Loach filmed scenes at the bank for the film, which went on to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes and the Bafta for Best British.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The church-based food bank has been running since 2013

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