Keeping food bank safe

Chris Emson and Bob Harper at food bank this summer

As the new year starts, and the volunteer team recover from the phenomenally busy  demands of December,  Rye Food Bank is reminded of the fact that the priority is the safety of operations for volunteers and  clients.

The new Covid-19 lockdown restrictions require a new code of practice for food bank operations at Rye Baptist Church and directives and recommendations made by the Trussell Trust and Bexhill Food Bank mean Rye has had to make further changes to operations.

Rye Food Bank Logo

The biggest changes are that all volunteers must work completely separately in two teams with no crossover.  One team is managed by Chris Emson and the other by Bob Harper. All food stuffs must be quarantined for three days or more before before being given to clients. No visitors, donors or clients will be allowed into the Baptist Hall.  Clients will receive their food bags outside.

These essential changes are a challenge as space is limited for turning over hundreds of kilos of food each week. For the time being, monetary donations are more helpful to enable the food bank to buy in bulk packaged items which require less handling and so are easier to manage.

Two weeks’ help on December 23 

During December, food was distributed to a total of 323 adults and 312 children – a total of 635 clients over a five week month – an average of around 125 individuals each week. This includes operations on December 23 (covering December 30 as well, as the food bank did not open that day) when food for two weeks was given to 125 clients.  On December 23 over two tonnes of mainly non perishable foods were packed in bags and boxes ready for people to take plus 60 fresh turkeys kindly donated by Appledore Turkeys.

None of this would have been possible were it not for the fantastic generosity of the people of Rye and the surrounding villages who donated so generously.  Donating to your local food bank is one of the best ways to support those struggling in these dark times.  The response from the people of Rye and around is amazing and the food bank so very fortunate to be in receipt of such generosity to enable its operations.  Thank you so much for your support, no matter how large or small andknow that it is greatly appreciated.

Contact details for Rye Food Bank

Phone: 07526 349847 or email:

We are open at the Baptist Hall, behind the church in Cinque Ports Street in Rye from 1pm until 3pm on Wednesdays. The Rye Food Bank phone number is not manned all the time, but you can leave a message and we will respond. Email is better and this is monitored several times during the day and in the evening.

Donations make a big difference

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 need help from Rye Food Bank, contact Rother District Citizens Advice (CAB) on 01424 215055; email:, or the Hastings Advice &  Representation Centre (HARC) on 0333 344 0681; email:

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .


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