Kettering food bank boosted by bumper harvest parcels
The Kettering food bank is now collecting for Christmas
Organisers of a Kettering food bank say they have been overwhelmed by the response of donations made to the service by kind-hearted residents after harvest collections.
Shelves of the Kettering Food Bank based in Horsemarket had become depleted of goodies for those facing food poverty, but the annual show of generosity has boosted their ability to help others.
Faith groups, schools, families and individuals' donations have filled the charity's larder when they were down to their last few items.
Trustee Jane Calcott said: "We had an overwhelming response from local churches, schools and other organisations this week receiving their harvest collections. Some individuals have donated fresh and homemade produce.
"Its nice to see our shelves looking more full. They were empty - we were down to our last three cartons of milk two weeks ago. Now thanks to everyone's generosity we can meet demand."
During September this year volunteers at the food bank distributed 4,380 meals to people in need with generous donations from people and companies in the town.
It's not just adults who have been wanting to help their neighbours as pupils from Cranford CE Primary School council handed over their food collection provided by families and staff members.
Headteacher Richard Albert said: “The Cranford family are always very generous whenever we look to support charitable activities be they local or further afield.
"In the past, we’ve collected for the food bank as part of our ‘reverse Advent’ so I was delighted when our school councillors took it upon themselves to collect more this harvest, writing a letter to the school community and requesting their support.
"We are all very proud of the children for showing this initiative and compassion and also of our families for giving so generously. Our children have coined the phrase ‘The Cranford Way’ and this is a wonderful example of this ethos.”
The school's harvest festival service was once again delivered remotely but the school council was determined that the donations would still reach the food bank to help families in need over the winter and Christmas.
School council member Ethan, 10, said: "The fact that we have to have food banks is sad as it means people are in need. It’s also good, however, as it shows people care enough to help one another.”
Ten-year-old Ottilie added: "It makes us really proud that the Cranford school community have come together and collected so many items.”
The Kettering Independent Food Bank aims to provide people with food in a time of crisis and to help to them identify and resolve the underlying issues that cause them to fall into food poverty.
Jane Stone, food bank trustee said: "Demand is increasing. We have a whole network of people who use us. We had the knock-on effect of schools uniforms - it was do you buy a blazer for £30 or food? We have people who are working but are still struggling and this Universal Credit cut is going to have an effect. The fuel price rises are going to effect people especially those on pre-pay meters.
"That's why we are so thrilled that people have supported us."
The most needed items are tinned fruit, jam, chocolate spread, long-life milk, small sugar, small coffee, squash and tinned veg but the team is now asking for items ready for Christmas including seasonal favourites such as mince pies, Christmas puddings, advent calendars, biscuits, chocolates, gravy granules, cranberry sauce, and frozen vegetables.
Contact the food bank based at 1, Horsemarket, Kettering on 07709 741353.