A CHRISTMAS foodbank drive in Stratford has “surpassed hopes and expectations”.
Stratford Foodbank’s drive earlier this month resulted in 2.1 tonnes of food being donated in just three days.
The collection took place at Tesco on the Birmingham Road from Thursday December 1 to Saturday December 3, with the food donated valued at over £5,030.
The drive was a huge team effort with a rota of over 50 volunteers, including Stratford Mayor Coun Gill Cleeve and Deputy Mayor Coun Kate Rolfe.
Stratford’s business community also made a significant contribution with the NFU Mutual and Fortem colleagues assisting with the in store collection, while staff at Tesco’s made the foodbank volunteers very welcome.
The food collection, along with generous donations from local businesses, schools and churches, enabled the foodbank to make a staggering 459 Christmas seasonal hampers the following weekend, in response to nominations received from their referral partner network.
Over 45 volunteers, including colleagues from Pure Ideas Ltd in Stratford, gave up their time over the four days to build hampers for local individuals and families in need this Christmas time.
Stratford Foodbank Manager Kate Morris said: “We never take the support our local community shows during our food drives for granted, and we’d like to thank every single person who contributed. With the cost of living crisis this really is an amazing community wide achievement, far surpassing our hopes and expectations at this time.
“In the last three months we have provided an average 360 food parcels each month, and whilst we don’t believe we should need to deliver this service to our local community, the generosity of local residents means we can sustain this essential support during the winter months.
“Every day I am in awe of what our volunteers achieve. The food drives and hamper projects are huge logistical operations, and our volunteers rise to the challenge every time. 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.”
Kate added: “This month we are experiencing some of our busiest distribution sessions on record. Last Friday we provided food for 42 people – nearly half of which were children – and clients were queuing before our doors even opened. Despite how busy everything at the foodbank is, our volunteers display an unending sense of compassion and practicality. They truly are incredible.”