Food bank needs changes

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Keeping deliveries going

Rye Food Bank works with a range of local organizations,  like the local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC) that refer people for emergency support. These organisations can assess whether someone is in need and before the pandemic, they could provide a paper voucher for the food bank. To contact them, see final paragraph.

But when coronavirus hit, some people needing support could not leave their homes, and some local organisations which normally give paper vouchers could not physically open safely.

Rye Food Bank has made sure contact with everyone needing help has been established and maintained, and from March we delivered food to our clients in Rye and the surrounding area.  This was made possible by the generous donation of use of a van from Hands of Hope Charity and volunteers from Rye Mutual Aid and Rye Community Transport.

At the beginning of July all clients were informed that deliveries would end and food would need to be collected from the hall at the rear of the Baptist church in Rye’s Cinque Ports Street. There was an immediate drop in demand and we were very pleased to hear that many clients had been able to return to work.

Some still need deliveries

However a number of clients are unable to come to collect their food allocation due to lack of transport, ill health, inability to afford fares on public transport, and some needing to stay shielding at home.  Fortunately Rye Mutual Aid volunteers Andy and Nicki Stuart (pictured at top) have resumed delivery to about 25 households with the loan of a van from Rye Community Transport.

Demand overall for July shows a significant drop. In June 1054 people received help and in July this dropped to 331 of which 149 were children.

At the beginning of August we are aware of the need to be able to respond to any sudden increase in demand.  Financial donations allow us the flexibility to respond where help is needed most and to keep our stocks balanced properly.  On average only 15% of goods are donated, the remainder being purchased.

How to donate

Donating to Rye Food Bank is one of the most important ways you can support your community at this time. Thanks to everyone who donates to us, it is most appreciated. Please keep your donations coming. We are now opening on Wednesdays only at the Baptist hall to receive donations and for clients to visit.

Monetary donations can be sent to the Bexhill Food Bank Rye Branch at Barclays Bank, sort code 20-54-25, account number 83501116, through the Jempson Foundation or cheques to Rye Food Bank c/o 24 North Salts, Rye.  if you donate via the Jempson Foundation and are a taxpayer, gift aid can be applied, thereby increasing the value of the donation by 25% at no cost to the donor.

You can contact Rye Food Bank at Ryefoodbank@gmail.com. Rother District CAB can be contacted on 0800 02904 3948 Email: help@rotherdistrictcab.org.uk. HARC: 0333 344 0681 Email: info@harcuk.com

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

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