SHOPPERS at a town supermarket spread some early festive cheer by donating food to help those across the borough going hungry.
Redditch Food Bank and the Tesco store in Oakenshaw joined forces to hold collection days last Thursday and Saturday (November 27 and 29) to help meet the growing demand for people in need of emergency food parcels.
Shoppers were urged to buy items including UHT milk, soup and biscuits with more than 1670kg of food donated, including a 30 per cent top up from the supermarket giant. Volunteers, including staff from Natwest bank, supported the collection effort.
Rev Robin Baker, chairman of Redditch Food Bank, said: “The amount of food donated was up on last year and we’d like to thank everyone again for their generosity. There’s still that real need out there and the support is much appreciated.”
More than 2,000 people have received emergency food parcels from Redditch Food Bank since it was founded in September last year. They last for three days and are aimed at helping people through a crisis, with the vast majority of people needing to access the food bank only once.
In total 600 people have sought help because they are on low incomes but the biggest area for concern is the 944 people plunged into crisis because of changes or delays to their benefits.
Demand is also growing for this year’s Christmas Toy Appeal which provides food hampers and brand new toys to families in some of the most deprived parts of the borough. Last year the Acts of Kindness Charity, which runs the food bank, presented 101 families with hampers and 192 children with £30 worth of brand new toys.
This year the amount of families in need of help is already up by 30 per cent.
Donations of toys and treats, such as cakes and chocolate, are needed and can be made at the Oasis Christian Centre in Plymouth Road or the Oasis charity shop in Winyates before the end of Friday, December 12. Toys can also be donated at The Entertainer store in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre which is supporting the appeal.
Contact Rev Robin Baker on 07977432031 for more information.
Food bank volunteer Angela Priestley and Tesco Community Champion Sam Chandler are joined by Natwest’s Jennifer Smith, Stuart Forest, Craig Simmons and Tracey Perry. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4814037MMR.