New faces at food bank

Volunteers unloading a delivery from Jempson's

This week saw more new clients seeking help from Rye Food Bank.  Each week the numbers are rising, and food bank staff are keeping a careful watch on stocks of supplies to ensure we can continue to provide support.  As a minimum the food bank provides three meals a day for three days to each member of each referred household.  This can continue for six weeks, but in practice during the pandemic can go on for longer.

It’s a careful balancing act to ensure enough stock, enough funding, and most importantly enough volunteers to meet demand each week – and thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s call for more muscles.

Chris Emson multi tasking at the food bank

Food bank manager Chris Emson and all the volunteers are constantly amazed by the level of generous support for those in our community who are experiencing difficulty and the extraordinary numbers of offers of help in response to Rye News was very much appreciated.  Bob Harper says “the outcome of the Rye News article is that we are well staffed now, but things change, and we are hoping to develop the food bank initiative in other ways too”. Bob has kept a record of those who offered to help so they can be contacted when the need arises.

Donations needed this week are washing up liquid and simple toiletries especially shampoo, shower gel and soap.

As the food bank now has to follow additional safety precautions that include quarantining stock, monetary donations are more helpful to enable the food bank to buy in packaged items in bulk which require less handling and so are easier to manage.

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 on Wednesdays from 9am for donations and the food bank is open from 1pm until 3pm. 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 .


  1. Well done all those who help out…
    It would be good to hear how the simple nutritious lo cost meal venture went and the take up from your clients. And of any statistics on out comes of the clients getting help and success. Are those who come to the Rye Venue from a certain catchment area..?

  2. Hello Judith
    Thank you so much.
    The on-line cooking classes were, we understand, successful. They were organised as a joint venture with Rye Mutual Aid and the Mayor Councillor Rebekah Gilbert. The video recordings remain available. Rye Food Bank has not collected any data on take up of these classes, nor have we monitored outcome.
    Clients referred to Rye Food Bank via Rother District Council, Hastings Advice and Representation Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or other agencies are individuals or families who live in the local area which includes Rye Town and the surrounding villages.
    Thank you again for your interest and support for our work.

    Very best wishes

    Rye Food Bank

  3. A friend of mine mentioned the other day that more and more people are doing online food shopping at the moment in view of the pandemic and normally as they would leave the store they would put food etc into the donation baskets for the food bank. Might there be a way of encouraging these stores to have an area for example when you are about to pay online whereby you could donate some items to the food bank? Quite a task to organise but an opportunity nevertheless!

  4. Hi Lisa

    Thank you for this and yes it is an excellent idea! But as you’ve recognised difficult to implement.

    Everyone at Rye Food Bank is constantly amazed at the generosity of this community and donations have stepped up during the pandemic. As we now have stricter safety procedures and everything coming in has to be quarantined for three days it is more helpful to receive financial donations. We have to manage the volumes of stock very carefully to ensure adequate balanced supplies, in a limited storage space. Being able to arrange deliveries from bulk suppliers on a day when help is available is best for us and the most beneficial.

    Thank you for your interest in our work. Supporting the food bank at this difficult time is one of the best ways to help the community.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here