Rising demand at food bank

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Food packed all ready for collection

Over the last 12 months, demand at the Rye Food Bank has nearly trebled, as reported earlier this month, from below 200 helped in February last year to nearly 600 helped in February this year – and demand peaked last June with over 1,000 helped that month compared to less than 200 as the pandemic started last February.

The amazing generosity of the Rye community has kept pace with demand. As our need has increased so have the donations. We are so very grateful for this and thank all our benefactors and donors from the bottom of our hearts.

We have collection bins in most of the local stores in our area, including Jempsons in Rye and Peasmarsh, Winchelsea Co-op, Iden Stores, Rye Harbour,  Nisa at Camber, and Winchelsea Farm Kitchen. Also there are collection bins at Beckley Primary School and other business premises in Rye. Nationwide in Rye High Street also has a collection pot for cash and the new manager there asked us for one. How good that felt!

The team spirit among the volunteers is marvellous.  We enjoy our shifts even though the work can sometimes be demanding. We are longing for lockdown to end so our clients can come in for a hot drink and a chat. This gives us opportunities to give out information about financial advice, welfare support, community groups and further support services.

Chris Emson and Food Bank volunteers

Rye Food Bank has helped bring our community together during the Covid-19 crisis. Sadly, food poverty often goes hand in hand with social isolation, particularly during lockdown, and a smiling face and non-judgmental conversation with a volunteer has meant a lot to people in crisis.

Chris Emson says: “We’ve had people come into the food bank who have been so positively helped that they have got out of crisis and become regular donors, which is just so encouraging.”

One mum got in touch with Chris after she received help and said: “I am so thankful for these essential items. For once in a very long time I haven’t had to say no to my children.  It has been awful the last few months just getting by.  It means so much more than just food – its a restful few nights sleep, mental stability, and just generally being able to not worry/dread mealtimes”.

Donating to your local food bank is one of the best ways you can help your community at this time. Every donation is appreciated, no matter how large or small. Financial donations help us maintain balanced and adequate stocks and it is easy to send us money or bring cash.

All donations directly benefit members of your local community. We do not spend anything benefitting anyone outside our local area.

Contact details for Rye Food Bank

Phone: 07526 349847 or email: ryefoodbank@gmail.com

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 make a bank transfer please do send us a message (via ryefoodbank@gmail.com) so we know who it is from and can send a receipt, if required.

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

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

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