STRATFORD Foodbank is gearing up for its busiest time of the year.
Volunteers are busy preparing for an anticipated peak in demand in December; managing hugely generous harvest festival food donations from many schools, churches, businesses and community groups; and getting set to create over 300 community Christmas hampers for distribution in December.
Marion Homer Foodbank Manager said: “The run up to Christmas is an extremely busy time of year for our charity. In the space of a few months we witness amazing generosity, as the Foodbank is remembered at many Harvest Festivals and at Christmas. In fact, it very likely that we will receive over 60% of all food donations in the last three months of the year – which does pose us some interesting logistical challenges – but we have an amazing team of volunteers, who will somehow store everything safely away for use later in the year.
“We are so grateful to everyone who remembers us, we simply couldn’t operate without food donations, and we are also indebted to SITEL who allow us to set aside our long-dated items in their warehouse.”
Marion added: “This December we will once again be undertaking our community hamper project. This project is only possible through the many volunteers and donors who contribute time and food to make it happen. In the Autumn we seek nominations from our referral agency partners for individuals and/or families they’d like to receive a Foodbank Christmas Hamper.
“Unlike our usual food parcels, our Christmas hampers don’t necessarily go to someone who’s in financial hardship. Instead, we ask our partners to suggest individuals and families for whom Christmas will be difficult and for whom a gift of a foodbank hamper might make a difference. Our hampers are full of the usual foodbank items – e.g. packets, tins etc (nothing fresh) and gift items that we receive during the year, and we tailor our hampers according to family numbers and age range.
“This year the project has become so big we have had to take it off site. During the weekend of the 7th/8th December, and with grateful thanks to the generosity of Stratford Town Trust, we will take over the ground floor of Foundation House to collate our hampers. It’s going to be a very busy weekend and involves a rota of over 60 volunteer names who will be undertaking a variety of tasks to ensure three hundred hampers are ready for our referral agency partners to collect on Monday, 9th December.”
The Foodbank will be holding a food drive at Tesco on the Birmingham Road in Stratford from Friday 22nd to Saturday 24th November where volunteers will be handing out lists of items that will be useful for the hamper project, as well as for their usual foodbank distributions in the new year.
Full details of all Christmas related activities including details on how to organise a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ can be found on the charity’s website https://stratforduponavon.foodbank.org.uk
Marion added: “We are hugely grateful for all food donations. However, should you wish to give us seasonal items please ensure they are in our collection baskets, or bought to our warehouse by Wednesday, 4th December. Items received after this date will be still be of enormous value but will be distributed after Christmas.”
For more information on Christmas at the Foodbank check the news feed at: https://firstname.lastname@example.org