‘Amazing support’ for Sid Valley Food Bank’s Christmas appeal

Volunteers about to pack christmas hampers at Sid valley's food bank. Ref shs 8230-51-15TI. Picture:

Volunteers about to pack christmas hampers at Sid valley's food bank. Ref shs 8230-51-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

An unprecedented number of donations from generous residents has enabled the Sid Valley Food Bank to help bring a happy Christmas to dozens of families in the area.

Volunteers from the charity packed a total of 45 hampers earlier this month - 15 more than last year - before they were delivered to clients.

The festive bags were stuffed with seasonal treats, individually wrapped gifts and a voucher for fresh meat and vegetables - all donated by the community.

This comes as the food bank helped 19 clients on Friday, December 11 - its second-busiest day on record.

Food bank manager Lois Swarbrick said: “The donations have been absolutely fantastic, cash-wise, gifts-wise and food-wise. Without this amazing support, we wouldn’t have been able to give to so many.

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“We’ve had to empty our collection boxes at Waitrose two or three times per-week.

“The response was huge - we had so much stuff.”

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This year’s appeal helped a mix of current food bank clients, people who have been helped by the service in the past and families who made use of the charity’s school meal boxes over the summer holidays.

Cash donations were used to pay for fresh food vouchers, which recipients have been able to redeem closer to December 25 so they can enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner.

And the service had enough to fund the vouchers despite losing more than £100 when its base at the Unitarian Chapel, in All Saints Road, was burgled earlier this month.

After news of the break-in spread, donations ‘more than covering the loss’ flooded in from the community.

Lois said that, following the incident, the food bank’s trustees had reviewed their security policy and will no longer be keeping any cash on the premises. The food bank will be closed over the Christmas period and will reopen on Monday, January 4.

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