Wells Foodbank in urgent appeal for food donations

March 25 2020
Wells Foodbank in urgent appeal for food donations

WELLS Foodbank urgently needs help from the local community to make food donations.

It is expected that demand for Foodbank services could rise sharply as many people in the community are facing unprecedented financial hardship and more food is urgently needed to meet the expected rise in demand.

Mike Tolley, Foodbank co-ordinator said: “There will be people who have lost their jobs or who are on reduced salaries who will not be able to make ends meet. There may also be increased demand due to school closures, when vulnerable families no longer receive support with school lunches and we need to ensure there is enough food in our stores to provide to everyone who needs it.”

Shoppers can help by donating food and the following items are particularly needed: pasta, rice, cereals, tinned meat/fish and baked beans. Food donations can be dropped off at the following places: in the usual donation points in supermarkets, in the Wells branch of Santander in the Market Place or directly to the Foodbank at the Wells Vineyard Church, Keward Mill Trading Estate, Jocelyn Drive, BA5 1DA. The opening hours for donations at the Foodbank are 12.30pm to 1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Alternatively, cash donations or cheques can be made out to “Wells Vineyard Church”. Money donated will be used to maintain food stocks. For details on how to make a donation by bank transfer, contact Sue Marland on 00 263 772 340 762 (WhatsApp) or smarland@mango.zw.

Mike Tolley explained how the Foodbank are adapting to keep both volunteers and clients safe. He said: “We are striving to maintain our normal service under anything but normal conditions. Our opening days, Wednesdays and Saturdays 10.30am to 12.30pm, remain unchanged. Clients are now received outside the Foodbank main entrance, to minimise the potential to infect one another and to keep the virus outside of the building.

“Sometimes clients may have to wait for up to 30 minutes, so we provide chairs outside and remind them about social distances. The chairs are cleaned at the end of each shift. Food parcels are taken outside to them by just one person and the Vineyard Church building which is now being used exclusively by the Foodbank is regularly disinfected.”

Clients are normally offered a cup of tea or coffee and the chance to chat in the foyer. However, the present need for social distancing now means there is a briefer period of contact to enquire about clients’ circumstances and identify any additional support available to them.

The Foodbank provides parcels of basic items, eg. dry rice, pasta, UHT milk, tins (meat, fish, vegetables and fruit), cereals, tea and coffee. Donations of bread, fresh vegetables and fruit are usually provided by the supermarkets, but due to current circumstances fresh items may not always be available, making tinned and packet donations even more critical.