We can’t believe that we are nearly four months into 2021. The beginning of the year has been busy at the Foodbank and, sadly, this is largely due to increased demand for food parcels, with more people struggling financially due to hardships caused by the pandemic. However, there have also been some incredibly exciting new projects and changes that have filled us with hope and highlighted how generous the wonderful people of Faversham are.
Firstly, we are sad to announce that our brilliant Chairman, Charles Hendry, has resigned his position after five years of service to the Foodbank. Charlie’s service has been an incredible asset and his good humour, wit, and unstinting efforts on behalf of the Foodbank will be missed. He will be succeeded by Bethany Munn from 29th March. Beth is known to many in Faversham through her work on behalf of the Salvation Army and has been actively involved in the Foodbank throughout the pandemic, working with clients and serving on the Foodbank board of Trustees. We are so lucky to have such an enthusiastic new Chair and no doubt she will steer the Foodbank onto new ventures.
Another exciting new initiative has been our partnership with The Yard. In January, we announced that we would be taking advantage of their delivery service to supply our clients with fresh fruit and vegetables, and other perishable items. Although our food parcels are nutritionally balanced, we are aware that fresh vegetables and fruit are a vital, but sometimes expensive, part of all our diets. Currently, some of the deliveries are being paid for by the Foodbank but there is also a pay-it-forward scheme for the customers of The Yard who would like to donate. We are incredibly thankful for the people of Faversham’s financial generosity that has enabled this partnership and for the hard work of The Yard’s staff in making these deliveries.
Demand for the Foodbank has sadly risen in the last year. We have seen a 46.8% increase in Foodbank usage over the past eleven months, when compared to the same period pre-pandemic. Given the importance of our work, we are immensely proud of our volunteer team who have enabled us to keep the Foodbank open to clients all year and to start a deliver service for those who are medically required to isolate. We are taking a number of Covid safety precautions, such as, checking temperatures on entering, limiting the number of adults in the hall at one time, and asking all clients and volunteers to wear a mask. We will continue taking these protective measures for as long as necessary.
Thank you so much for your continued generosity and support of the Foodbank. We would not be able to offer much-needed help to our clients without your donations of food at the supermarket and financial contributions. Your kindness makes such a difference to other people’s lives, so thank you so much for all that you continue to give.