Suffolk residents urged to support vital foodbank campaign

A campaign urging residents to donate items to their local foodbank has been launched

A campaign urging residents to donate items to their local foodbank has been launched - Credit: Nick Butcher

A campaign urging people in Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth to donate the “free” item received in buy-one-get-one-free supermarket deals to a local foodbank was launched this week.

It has been set up by Rosedale Funeral Home with backing from the Beccles and Bungay Journal.

Foodbanks provide a lifeline to families in need by providing parcels with three days’ worth of food and, in December alone, more than 600 people in east Suffolk received help from a foodbank, 191 of which were children under the age of 16. The campaign has been set up to support the East Suffolk Foodbank Charity, which holds regular drop-in sessions at churches and cafes in Beccles, Halesworth and Lowestoft, to encourage food donations for local people in crisis.

Simon Becket-Allen, director of Rosedale Funeral Home, said: “Since we registered Rosedale Funeral Homes as drop-off points it has really opened our eyes to the massive need of people right on our own doorstep.

“We appreciate that money is often tight, but we are hoping that people may be generous enough to use their loyalty points to purchase additional items with their shopping or be kind enough to share an item purchased on a buy-one-get-one-free promotion.

“Many items have already been brought to our funeral homes in Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth by extremely generous residents of the towns and surrounding villages and we would like to say a big thank-you to all concerned. It really is heart-warming.”

Food parcels are given to specific families who are identified as having an immediate need after a referral by care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, the Citizens Advice Bureau or a local church. They are not intended as a long term solution, but can provide much need relief while people get their lives and finances back on an even keel.

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At present, items required for the foodbank include UHT or powdered milk, cartons of long life fruit juice, instant mashed potato, sugar, pasta sauces, rice, tinned meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, dog and cat food, packs of nappies, baby food, soap, shampoo, toilet rolls, female sanitary items, and tin openers.

Once food is collected a team of volunteers sort through it to check it is in date and pack it into boxes. People in need are then issued with a foodbank voucher which they can take to a centre to exchange for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.

The East Suffolk Foodbank is part of the Trussel Trust, a Christian charity committed to community action against poverty and marginalisation in the UK and Bulgaria, is one of more than 380 foodbanks providing emergency food to nationwide. The foodbank is run in partnership with local churches led by the charity Signpost Gunton.

Any items you are able to spare can be dropped at Rosedale Funeral Homes at Hungate in Beccles, Upper Olland Street in Bungay or Market Place in Halesworth.