Rye Foodbank relaunched and independent

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Chris Emson (right) and the green team

For the last eight years the food bank in Rye has been a branch of Bexhill Foodbank.  Back in November 2014 Rye News announced the start of the food bank in Rye under the auspices of Bexhill Churches Together and part of the Trussell Trust network.

Over time,  the need to become independent has become increasingly apparent given the amazing fact that operations in Rye are funded entirely from local sources, with people in Rye giving generously their time and money. Understandably, Rye benefactors and volunteers expect to be working to support the needy in their own community.

Rye Foodbank needs its own identity which includes its own website, bank account and email address and to be able to produce Rye Foodbank audited accounts to satisfy the demands of the Charities Commission.

In the early years Rye Foodbank benefitted greatly from management by Bexhill Foodbank and Churches Together in Bexhill. Since then, Rye has overtaken Bexhill in terms of numbers of people served and range of services being offered. The rural setting of Rye, with its high dependence on service industries, show completely different needs to that of Bexhill, with corresponding different support services needing to be offered.

We, the volunteer team and management, are delighted that Rye is now formally independent. We continue to work as a franchisee of the Trussell Trust, which provides an operating framework and systems for some 1,600 food banks across the UK.

One of the demands of the Charities Commission is that Rye Foodbank has to operate under the oversight of a Charitably Incorporated Organisation (CIO). We are happy to confirm that the CIO is Rye Baptist Church, which works as a part of Churches Together in Rye and District, and has freely provided the use of the premises for Rye Foodbank for many years.  Rev. Fiona Gill says: “The trustees and I are delighted and excited that we have the opportunity to serve people in the area through the newly independent food bank in Rye.”

This winter could be a challenging time for many. Rye Foodbank welcomes all in need of help and encourages anyone who is struggling to feed themselves and their families, for whatever reason, to contact us. You can be assured of a friendly welcome and, no matter what your experience has been, you will not be judged or refused.

Bob Harper
Chris Emson

Joint managers Chris Emson and Bob Harper speak for the team when they say “We feel deeply honoured to be part of the Rye Foodbank team that provides understanding and support and active help. We can only do it because of the generosity of individuals and organisations in and around Rye. Every donation, every financial gift, and every hour spent working in the food bank is part of the compassionate response of a caring community, and it’s wonderful and very greatly appreciated.”

So what is the future vision now that Rye is independent? Bob laughs “There’s so much to do! We have to extend the advice services to cover the housing and social provision issues, and debt, as well as benefits. That’s taking a bit longer than hoped but we’re nearly there.  We have to improve access for people living in surrounding villages.  And it troubles us that so many people are isolated and excluded from social interaction because of lack of funds; I long to be able to open a centre in the heart of Rye that is open through the week and is equipped to provide those advice services, is generous with refreshments and hospitality.  Somewhere special that people can freely go to, irrespective of their circumstances, and feel at home and amongst family and genuinely supported.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

We are open every Wednesday at the Baptist church hall, Cinque Ports Street at 1pm until 3pm.

Monetary donations can be sent to Rye Foodbank at Barclays Bank, sort code 20-54-25, account number 83501116, through the Jempson Foundation or cheques to Rye Foodbank 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.

Thank you everyone for all you do for us, including reading this article!

Image Credits: Mags Ivatts .

1 COMMENT

  1. Congratulations to all the team for securing your independence and for providing such an amazing service for so many people, we are all indebted to you.

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