Helping gets no easier

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Food packed ready for collection

As autumn is now upon us, Rye Food Bank has received many donations of fresh produce for which we are extremely grateful. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, our stock cupboard is looking like our own mini harvest festival!

Volunteers busy packing food parcels for collection

Customers of the food bank really appreciate the opportunity to take fresh food and it’s been very heartening to be able to offer them a range of good quality vegetables and fresh fruit. Thank you to everyone who has brought us produce from your gardens and allotments.

While we appreciate the many generous donations of produce that we receive, we cannot run the food bank on donated goods alone.  Approximately 85% of the food we distribute must be purchased to ensure our needy families receive a wholesome balanced diet and it is important that our stocks remain balanced so that we can meet the needs of young families with babies, and those with particular dietary need.

We can only maintain a balanced stock level if we have funds available to purchase stock.  The Jempson Foundation supplies to us at cost and so ensures good value for money, but is not the only supplier we use.

Money donated to Rye Food Bank is spent directly on food to support those in hardship in our community.  We never give anyone any money or spend it on anything that does not directly benefit those in our community in genuine need.

Universal Credit causes confusion

At present we have about 70 people needing help, including 28 children and some who are homeless.  We are short of tinned vegetables, especially carrots, and vegan products.  Also soya milk would be really appreciated, as well as treats for primary school age children.

In order to give the best possible help to those in need, we monitor the reasons why people are needing to use the food bank and try to determine what is best to help them. We are very pleased that Hastings Advice and Representation Centre are negotiating with us for a welfare officer to visit on Wednesday afternoons so that our customers can get help using the benefits system.

Universal Credit causes confusion and has changed twice already this year.  It may be that customers are entitled to other support and we need a benefits expert to provide advice.  Problems with receiving benefits payments is currently one of the main causes of food poverty in the Rye area.

Rye Food Bank is open every Wednesday from 1pm until 3pm.  We are located in the Baptist Church Hall at the back of the Baptist Church in Cinque Ports Street.

You can contact Rye Food Bank at ryefoodbank@gmail.com. If you need help from Rye Food Bank contact Rother District CAB on 01424 215055, email: help@rotherdistrictcab.org.uk, or the Hastings Advice & Representation Centre (HARC) on 0333 344 0681, email: info@harcuk.com.

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.

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

1 COMMENT

  1. Great article Mags, thank you.

    All donations (financial or physical) are gratefully received. It helps us if any food donations are made on Wednesday mornings at the rear of the Baptist Church (parking while unloading is available). We can then package the produce up ready for collection on Wednesdays from 1pm (when customers are usually queueing at the door).

    This week, we could particularly make use of the following:
    – Potatoes (tinned or fresh).
    – Oat / almond / soya milk.
    – Vegan and vegetarian products (including soups).
    – Tinned fruit (other than grapefruit of which we have plenty but not everyone can eat).
    – Fruit squash drink.

    Any help is much appreciated.

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