OVER two tonnes of food were collected at a recent collection to help families in need.
Stratford Foodbank held the drive at Tesco with the food donated valued at more than £3,700.
Forty volunteers helped ensure the event ran smoothly and businesses helped transport the food ready for distribution.
Foodbank manager Marion Homer said: “I never take the rush of kindness seen during our food drives for granted, and I’d like to thank every single person who contributed, this really was a community wide achievement.
“We currently we provide 255 parcels a month, and, whilst we don’t believe we should need to deliver this service to our town, the generosity of local residents means we can sustain this support during the winter months.
“Every day I am in awe of what our volunteers achieve. The food drives are huge logistical operations, not only do our volunteers sort and shelve food but they manage newer volunteers to turn up at the right time, and in the right place to receive the donations. They do all this whilst still responding to the needs of ever increasing numbers coming through our doors as the weather gets colder and Christmas approaches.
“Last Friday we had one of our busiest distribution sessions on record. We provided food for 48 people (almost half the parcels were for children) and clients were queuing before our session even started. Despite this all this busyness our volunteers displayed an unending sense of compassion. Every year, they face the end of November and December with an incredible mix of love, practicality and grit. They truly are incredible.”
Since set up in 2013, the number of emergency food parcels distributed by Stratford Foodbank has more than doubled. Over 1,000 parcels were provided in its first year but the figure has now risen to nearly 2,300.
The Universal Credit system – which has seen different financial support combined to form one single payment – has been blamed by many for reducing and delaying payments.
Marion added: “With the election close we are campaigning hard to ensure that Stratford’s next MP, whoever that is, works with us to end the need for a foodbank in our town. However, whilst the need remains this food drive means we can confidently support our community during the winter months.”
Stratford Foodbank, based in a cabin in Tesco car park, is open Monday 5pm to 6.30pm, Tuesday midday to 2pm, Thursday 5pm to 6.30pm and Friday midday to 2pm.
Visit stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk for further details.