DESPITE ‘significant challenges’ Stratford Foodbank is here for the long haul says manager Marion Homer.
The escalating pandemic has seen the foodbank close for a week to adjust to social distancing measures and move its operation to Stratford Methodist Church.
The foodbank, which usually operates from a cabin in Tesco car park, endured unexpected costs to get the cabins cleaned before staff decided the operation should be moved to a more spacious location to meet government restrictions.
As well as the offer of the use of the church, Marion says she has been blown away by the generosity of the community in recent weeks.
She said: “The last few weeks has seen our lives changed beyond recognition which has posed significant challenges to our foodbank. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to adapt the delivery of our service to the new government guidelines concerning social distancing and hygiene.
“We are certainly in worrying and uncertain times; no one knows what the future will look like. One thing I do know for sure is that the foodbank is in this for the long haul. If I can give you a glimmer of hope it is that I know this town has the most amazing community – every day I am blown away by the generosity and kindness shown to us and the willingness of people to help each other. We will get through this together.”
While the foodbank is still asking for items, cash donations are also welcomed to cover any unexpected costs and allow the charity to be flexible around the changing situation.
Marion added: “I am so grateful to all of the volunteers and supporters you who have stayed with us on this journey – whether self-isolating, dropping a packet or tin into our collection basket, working remotely, or bravely working in the cabin and distribution sessions. Every single one of you are a super star – and every single one of you remind me how fortunate I am to be working alongside you to support our town.
“I fear this journey is not over yet, not by a long shot, but together we will get through this. Unlike many people who wake up each morning feeling powerless, we have, through our foodbank, a way we can make a difference.”
There are a number of ways to donate to and support the foodbank. Visit stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk to find out more, or search Stratford upon Avon Foodbank on Facebook to see a list of items the charity is asking for. Collections points can be found at Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose in Stratford, and at Budgens in Bidford.