Government offers help for food banks

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There is no widely accepted definition of “food poverty”. However a household can broadly be defined as experiencing food poverty or “household food insecurity” if they cannot (or are uncertain about whether they can) acquire”an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways”.

Unsurprisingly, the rise in the cost of living has increased household food insecurity across Rother district. Rye Foodbank experiences continuous demand from people of all ages; all our clients are vulnerable and on low income for a wide range of reasons. We have single people, families with children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. All of these groups, indeed everybody, has been affected by rising food prices.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has provided East Sussex County Council (ESCC) with funding to support those most in need. As Rother is an area that is funded by devolved budgets, Rye Foodbank is invited to bid for government funding and must do so in competition with all other agencies supported by government funding. Fortunately, Rye Foodbank has been successful in this particular programme and a grant award has been made for a sum representing a fraction of our running costs. We, of course, deeply appreciate that we are approved to receive grant funding.

Receiving grant funding does however go a long way to give us confidence to be able to continue our operations, and we appreciate hugely the recognition of the funding bodies that Rye Foodbank, as a long established operation, is well set up and proven to be highly effective in the town.

Whilst always looking to implement improvement, our effectiveness is impressive.  We are entirely volunteer staffed and have no premises costs due to the generosity of Rye Baptist Church. Every penny we receive from our benefactors is spent on food.

A summary of what we have achieved this year:

  • 8 tonnes of food given out plus 3.16 tonnes of fresh produce and 1.6 tonnes of non-food items (toiletries, cleaning products etc.)
  • 1,582 adults and 919 children fed, a total of 2,501 people
  • For our in-house benefits advice, figures are only available for the period April 22 to March 23 during which period there were 136 appointments serving 49 households, and the total annual benefits realised was £152,806.

A massive thank you to all our benefactors. The fresh produce is so much appreciated by our clients. When we open at 12 noon each Wednesday, the tables can seen heaving with fresh fruit and vegetables and we wonder what we will do with it all as we have very limited storage facilities, but it all gets taken by clients. Fresh produce gets swept up each week including donations from local allotments and the Rye Farmers Market that drops by their unsold perishables. We appreciate everything donated to us a great deal.

If you would like to find out more about our operations or see us in person please do feel free to visit. We are present at the Baptist Hall in Cinque Ports Street from about 8am every Wednesday until about 3:30pm. We open our doors at 12 noon. If you are struggling to manage, or you know anyone who is, please do contact us. We are accessible by phone or email 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Emergency deliveries can be made (and are) at any time.

For more information and how to donate please see https://ryefoodbank.com  call us on 07526 349847 email ryefoodbank@gmail.com.

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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