Foodbank says thanks for ‘wonderful support’ over holiday period

FOOD and essential supplies for 546 adults and children were sent out by Woking Foodbank last month.

The charity, which received 192 referrals of people in need of support during December, also provided 267 bags of Christmas goodies during the festive season.

Volunteer Graham Booth preparing to deliver festive goodies bags

“We had some wonderful donations and support in the lead-up to Christmas,” said the foodbank’s project co-ordinator, Alison Buckland.

“The contents of donation boxes in some of the supermarkets more than doubled the normal amounts, particularly at the Brooklands Tesco and Waitrose branches at West Byfleet and Goldsworth Park. This enabled us to send out bags containing items such as crisps, chocolate and biscuits.

“Thanks to monetary donations, we were also able to provide vouchers so that people could buy the meat they wanted for Christmas meals. When the need goes up, we know that the donations will go up.”

Three teams of volunteers worked at the foodbank’s new warehouse on the Lansbury Estate in Knaphill to meet the demand. The pandemic has meant that all parcels must be delivered instead of collected.

Demand for support from the foodbank rose during 2020 compared with 2019. Last year, it received 2,421 referrals and provided enough food for almost 6,000 adults and children. In 2019, there were 1,949 referrals, with food for just over 4,500 adults and children supplied.

Ellen Buckland adding some confectionery treats to a parcel

Alison pointed out that the figures included some people referred more than once. Each parcel provided three days’ worth of emergency food and essential toiletries, she added.

The foodbank has plenty of the basic foods and essentials it distributes, included pasta, soup, baked beans, pulses, rice and sanitary products.

It is short of chocolate bars, sponge puddings, instant mashed potato, Spam, tinned salmon, hot chocolate drinks and tins of mixed vegetables.

For information on how to donate, visit www.woking.foodbank.org.uk, email warehouse@woking.foodbank.org.uk or call 07376 952892.

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