Haverhill foodbank receives record donations

FL; Lesley Cogger, Gavin McConkey and Ann Merrigan  collect food for the Haverhill food bank. ANL-140507-141421009

FL; Lesley Cogger, Gavin McConkey and Ann Merrigan collect food for the Haverhill food bank. ANL-140507-141421009

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A new record has been set at the Haverhill foodbank, with over two tonnes of food being donated to help the hungry.

The foodbank, which is operated by the Trussell Trust, collected at Haverhill Tesco between Thursday, July 3 and Saturday, July 6.

Members of the public contributed a total of 2.3 tonnes of tinned and dried food over the course of the weekend.

The total is a new record for collections in Haverhill.

“It’s a great community effort, it really is,” said Ann Merrigan, Manager of Haverhill foodbank. “It’s generosity.

“I was down there all three days and many people came up to me who said, ‘you helped me’ or, ‘you helped my family’.

“One man bought a trolley full of food and brought it over for us. We were so grateful. He came over and said, ‘that’s all for you’.

“Lots of people came along with bag fulls and bag fulls. I think, quite often, when people have had help themselves, they want to give something back.”

The food, which filled 167 boxes, will be distributed to people who may not be able to afford enough food to get by.

The Haverhill Foodbank currently collects twice a year. The last collection, which was held in November 2013, brought in about two tonnes of donations.

Those in need of extra food may be eligible from vouchers which can be exchanged for emergency boxes of food.

“We don’t interrogate people or anything like that,” continued Mrs Merrigan. “We have a drop in every afternoon, five days a week on the Clements Estate.

“It’s the economics of the situation. People are limited to three boxes of food within a six month period but, obviously, is someone’s in need, we’re not going to turn them away.

“We all know that if there’s a benefit sanction, it can sometimes take a few weeks to sort out these issues.”

Another Trussell Trust foodbank is set to open at the Waitrose supermarket in Saffron Walden.

Although the official opening is yet to take place, it is understood that they are already accepting donations.

Anyone wanting to contribute food can do so at a permanent collection point at Haverhill’s Ipswich Building Society. All donations are gratefully received.

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