No computer = no food?

Rye Food Bank in Action

This week, Rye’s food bank has had even more referrals from more sources, in particular for families whose children are not at school, and their parents are without money to feed them.  Many young parents previously working in hospitality have lost their jobs and are struggling to claim help.

Negotiating a Universal Credit claim, and claims for free school meal vouchers, requires completing online forms, and preferably with a computer rather than a smartphone families say.  For some it is a problem to gain access to a computer – as families on low incomes are not able to prioritise technology and libraries are closed – and, even if they have access some struggle to navigate the sometimes complex and detailed forms.

As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, children in receipt of free school meals are now eligible for a weekly voucher instead. But some parents, desperate to claim the meal vouchers say completing the forms on their phones causes them to crash and they are unable to make a claim.

Rye schools are aware of these problems and school secretaries are on hand to help with computers and knowledge of government systems during normal school hours [Editor’s note: probably at Rye Primary].

Chris Emson and the team of volunteers hugely appreciated the many generous donations this week. A heartfelt thank you!

We need to keep the stock cupboards full as we continue to experience growing demand, and we always try to give out a nutritionally balanced food parcel; and, due to the generous response from local people, we have on the whole managed to do this.

This week we had a 9% increase in referrals from last week and received 62 orders.  Food was distributed to 198 adults and children.

Items we are short of for next week are tinned vegetables (except sweetcorn), baked beans, and tinned tomatoes  – which still seem difficult to obtain. If you can help us with these items that would be so appreciated.

Donations of tinned food can be received at the back of the Baptist Church in Cinque Ports Street on Wednesdays from 10am until about 4pm.

Donations can be sent to the Rye Branch of Bexhill Food Bank at Barclays bank, sort code 20-54-25, account number 83501116 or cheques to Rye Food Bank c/o 24 North Salts, Rye TN31 7NU.

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .


  1. Donations can also be made on the Jempsons website here: All you need is a credit or debit card and is therefore useful for those without internet banking.

    On the topic of food donations, if these could be brought earlier in the day on Wednesday (e.g. before 11am) that would enable us to include them in parcels sent out that day. Otherwise, they would be stored until the following Wednesday. This is particularly applicable to fresh food and veg which we have no facility to store.

    Thanks for all your help.


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