Our members have noted regularly on various news mediums the number of people running short of basic food necessities are increasing due to the Pandemic and Lockdown. Some would be looking towards the Foodbanks for support, adding many to the numbers already being helped. Foodbanks have been serving the disadvantaged for many years but have never seen the number of applicants for their their services as there are now.
In support of this, our members voted unanimously to share our Charity account between three of these dedicated services in the Tameside District. We chose, at random, Hattersley, Haughton Green and Droylsden. On contacting their representative, they all were more than please to receive £150 each towards running of their store.
Tameside South and Longdendale
Susan Ayers, Project Co-coordinator Tameside South and Longdendale Foodbank at Grafton House. Hyde with one of her volunteers. Susan, and her small army of volunteers, attend three Foodbanks in Tameside namely, Hattersley Baptist Church, St Mary’s Church Hollingworth and the Grafton Centre Hyde.
Thanks to you and other members of the Lodge for your generous donation of £150 to our foodbank.
Since the pandemic began the number of people coming to the foodbank has doubled and almost half of the people, we feed are children. Many of our clients have suddenly lost their jobs e.g. builders, travel agents and nursery managers.
We have been encouraged by support from across the community – business, individuals and other charities have been so helpful and so we have been able to help everyone who has come to us in need. Thank you.
St, Mary’s Haughton Green
Steph Hirst, Project Manager for Haughton Green, with her volunteers are, as with the other Foodbanks, filling bags for needy people.
Droylsden and District
Above shows Pat Catterall, Project Manager of Droylsden Foodbank
and her volunteers preparing themselves for opening time.
Note the number of prepared food bags through the door.
The Droylsden and District Foodbank opened its doors in December 2013. Up until the end of 2019 we have fed 4,503 people, including 2,370 children and therefore provided at least 40,500 meals to people in crisis in our community. During 2019 we fed 1,038 people of which 505 were children and therefore provided over 9,342 meals. Local agencies, including schools, children’s centres and more recently Tameside and Manchester Councils Covid hubs, refer clients electronically for food parcels.
Since being established, our community, both individuals and groups, have been very generous in donating 48,477.1 kgs of food. In 2019 9,321 kg. of food was donated, a slight increase on 2018. We continue to have a good relationship with our local Tesco store and well over half of the food collected is donated through the Droylsden store either at the half yearly national collections or the permanent collection point.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the use of the Foodbank has risen in a way none of us could have imagined. During March and April, we have provided food parcels for 750, the majority being for school families. A rise of 650%.
Our stock in the warehouse reduced from 6000 kgs. to 2400 kgs. but is now slowly building back up. We continue to receive donations through our local Tesco store and Morrison but as churches are closed this route for donations is no longer available.
We can purchase food through a central buying facility with Tameside MBC and we will be using our funds in this way.
We are working with our volunteers to maintain social distancing as much as possible and now work directly from our warehouse with delivery rather than collection.
It must be hard for most people to try to envisage the amount of work put in by volunteers in collecting and distributing much needed food to so many needy people. There are ten separate Foodbanks in Tameside, some of whom run more than one base so one cannot imagine how many human beings are fed by these fantastic people in Tameside alone. We must thank them all.
© 2020, all text and images contained in this post are the property of the author and photographer respectively.