Ceri Norman, Danielle Achilles, Carrie and Lexi Ireland, Chris Norman and Angela Harrison at the food drive at Tesco, Sheerness
Generous shoppers, including a schoolboy, have donated more than 1,000 items to help Sheppey people in need.
Volunteers from the Island’s Family Food Bank (FFB) were collecting at Tesco Sheerness all day on Wednesday.
The drive was to replenish stocks after more than 28,000 meals were dished out to struggling families in the last 18 months and they were in need of donations of non-perishable goods such as tinned food, pasta and packet items.
The food bank was launched at Seashells Children and Families Centre in Sheerness in February last year in response to the 350 job losses at Thamesteel and since then almost 550 boxes of supplies have been handed out in response to referral vouchers from professionals.
Seashells acts as a distribution point, providing food to the other children’s centres on Sheppey – Ladybirds in Rushenden and Beaches in Leysdown – where people who have been referred can go to collect a box.
As well as the food collection, there was also a cash box at the Bridge Road supermarket which had a total of £57 in at the end of the day.
Money will be spent on more food and everything that was collected on Sheppey will be given to Island families.
FFB coordinator Chris Norman said it was very busy all day and they were delighted with the result.
He estimates around 50% of the shoppers they spoke to came back out with a donation and he particularly remembers a boy of around 10 who, after asking what it was all about, went back into the shop and came out with a bag of sweets to hand over and gave his change as well.
Mr Norman said: “He wanted to do his bit once he heard what we were doing. People were very, very positive about – asking what we needed and going to get it.
"There’s an awful lot of publicity about food banks at the moment and it is still a desperately needed service.”
Mr Norman thanked everyone who bought items and also many of the local schools and churches which have donated the produce from their harvest festivals to the cause.
To find out more, go to www.familyfoodbank.org.uk