Haverhill Foodbank thanks community after 'amazing' response to Harvest Festival Appeal
Bosses at Haverhill Foodbank have issued a massive ‘thank you’ to the community after nearly three tonnes of food was donated to its Harvest Festival Appeal.
That is enough to feed 150 families and the foodbank, part of Reach Community Projects, has also received about £1,110 in financial donations through the appeal.
Henry Wilson, project director at Reach, said: “I can’t thank people enough for their amazing generosity.
“This means we can feed another 150 families who could have just literally fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.
“This is really valuable and it really does make a huge difference to an individual’s life.”
The Harvest Festival Appeal launched last month with a list of food donations needed including UHT milk, rice pudding, tomato sauce, custard, coffee, tea, sponge pudding, pasta sauce, squash, cartons of juice, tinned fruit and tinned tomatoes.
Mr Wilson said: “We know we’re going to get food come in at harvest because we always do but this year the difference is that we’ve been really intentional about what we’re asking for.
“Our appeal has meant we’ve got donations in from so many places like schools who have not donated before which has been terrific really.”
The foodbank, based at the Wisdom Facilities Centre in Holland Road, has seen a 29 per surge since last September in the amount of people needing food boxes.
Since April, it has fed 1,054 people and handed out 545 boxes, which are filled with enough items to last for up to a week.
Mr Wilson said there were ‘countless stories of people who have just fallen on hard times’.
He cited an example of the support they gave to one mum, who wasn’t eating properly because she had to pay for childcare and hospital parking.
He added that one of the biggest driving forces was the universal credit benefit.
“It’s manifesting itself in debt because of the five week wait,” he said. “If you’re completely penniless to start with, it would be a massive problem waiting five weeks for money.”
The financial Harvest Festival Appeal runs until the end of this month and allows Reach to buy food and cover the cost of running the foodbank warehouse, distribution and co-ordination.