Food bank sees complex problems

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Rye Food Bank, welcoming to everyone who comes

We are pleased to see, with the onset of autumn, that numbers attending the food bank continue to decline, since the pandemic has eased and we have fewer families seeking help from Rye Food Bank.

Our numbers at the moment are less than 100 per week adults and children. We are waiting for the impact of the end of furlough payments and the government removing the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit. This uplift is expected to end on October 6.  At present we are prepared to cope with any sudden increase in demand. We are so very fortunate to be in the midst of a generous community that allows us to manage adequate stocks of food.

We have received some wonderful early harvest festival donations from Icklesham Church and school, St Thomas’ Church Winchelsea and school and Rye Harbour Village. We appreciate the efforts taken to collect and deliver these donations as well as the continuing generosity of the local communities.  Thank you all very much and pleased be assured every jar of jam, tin of beans or pack of tea is gratefully appreciated.

However, what is noticeable at the same time is that problems of the needy have a complexity that we aren’t familiar with.

Many of the worst problems are housing related. For example, traditionally it used to be common practice in rural areas that agricultural workers were provided with a tied cottage. Over time, farm tenants who aged or became ill, some with very long tenure, are no longer able to work.  Farm cottage tenants cannot afford rent set at the level of Airbnb.  Universal Credit and housing benefit requires that people move to smaller premises. This is of course extremely difficult in rural areas with low density of housing and if you are elderly and required to leave the home where you have raised your family.

We continue to see good demand for our benefit advice service, which is available each week on demand during food bank opening hours.  We have also introduced energy advice from trained energy advisers from Energise Sussex Coast.  This is also available each week.

Please continue to support your local food bank.  Every penny you donate directly benefits those in need in your community. Massive thanks to all our benefactors no matter how large or small.

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.  If you make a bank transfer, please do send us a message (via ryefoodbank@gmail.com) so we know who it is from and can send a receipt, if required.

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

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