Chris Norman at the Family Food Bank
More than 28,000 meals have been dished out to help struggling Islanders in the last 18 months.
Since the Family Food Bank (FFB) launched at Seashells Children and Families’ Centre in February 2012, volunteers have issued almost 550 boxes of supplies to those in need.
It was set up after Thamesteel in Sheerness closed and 350 people lost their jobs.
Since then, the model has been taken up to help families across Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Faversham.
Seashells in Rose Street, Sheerness, 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 by professionals can go to collect a box.
There are now 13 distribution centres in Kent and the food collected in an area will always be given back out to people local to there.
On Wednesday, October 13, FFB coordinator Chris Norman and other volunteers will be at Tesco in Sheerness.
They are hoping shoppers will be generous enough to buy a few items for the food bank while they are in the store and drop it off when they leave.
Volunteers will be there from 9am to 6pm and they will be looking for tinned, dried and packeted food with a relatively long shelf-life.
Items such as tinned fruit or meat, boxes of tea bags, dried pasta, sugar and small jars of coffee are just as useful as well as more obvious ones like tins of beans or soup as they hope to put a variety of products in each box.
Mr Norman says from their experience, Sheerness is the greater area of need, but they are dealing with families from right across the Island.
All donations are issued in response to referral vouchers from professionals who are working directly with local people.
There is a limit of three consecutive boxes per household and no more than four in a 12 month period.
This is to head off dependency as the main aim of the scheme is to help with immediate crisis but then address the underlying issues which caused the need in the first place.
- If you want to help but can’t get to the food drive, go to www.familyfoodbank.org.uk to find out how.