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The Community Cupboard foodbank in West Kingsdown which helps people in Dartford, Gravesend, Sevenoaks and Ashford appeals for help


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A food bank which has helped hundreds of hungry families across the county during the pandemic has asked for financial support.

Trustees at the Community Cupboard in West Kingsdown are seeking community assistance to pay bills to keep them afloat.

Four of the trustees at the West Kingsdown former youth club (from left): Retired business woman Veronica McGannon; consultant David Carter, of Meopham; Rev Helen Reeves, of St Peter and St Paul's Church in Ash and Co-op worker Tracy Wood
Four of the trustees at the West Kingsdown former youth club (from left): Retired business woman Veronica McGannon; consultant David Carter, of Meopham; Rev Helen Reeves, of St Peter and St Paul's Church in Ash and Co-op worker Tracy Wood

It comes as demand rises despite the lifting of Covid lockdown restrictions as the food bank covers areas in Dartford, Gravesend, Sevenoaks and Ashford.

A total of 611 families travel long distances to collect bags and parcels, with an extra 107 households receiving much-needed help from January to April 2021.

Around 100 loaves of bread are delivered to families each week. Referrals have come from schools, police and homeless charities, such as Porchlight.

Consultant David Carter, one of four trustees, said: “We are completely a victim of our own success.

“There is no red tape or any hoops to jump through. A lot of people who come straight to us locally know they will get some support quickly.”

From left: Trustees consultant David Carter, of Meopham; Rev Helen Reeves, of St Peter and St Paul's Church, in Ash; Co-op worker Tracy Wood and retired business woman Veronica McGannon
From left: Trustees consultant David Carter, of Meopham; Rev Helen Reeves, of St Peter and St Paul's Church, in Ash; Co-op worker Tracy Wood and retired business woman Veronica McGannon

The food bank is based in a transformed youth club near West Kingsdown Library, off the A20 London Road. Sevenoaks county Cllr David Brazier (Con) financed the operations from a grant of £5,000 in January 2020.

A sponsor has been urged to come forward to hire a bin from Sevenoaks District Council to store a growing amount of rubbish. It will cost around £50 per month.

Currently, around £400 is being spent each week by volunteers on purchasing food and toiletries and paying bills, such as phone and internet services.

Tracy Wood, who is also a trustee, said: “As demand grows for our services so does the demand for things like bins.

“We cannot take all the rubbish home with us. We want to run a sponsorship scheme.”

Donations help many of those in need
Donations help many of those in need
Sevenoaks Community Cupboard is in need of help
Sevenoaks Community Cupboard is in need of help

More in-date food donations have also been requested, including tea, coffee, bread, pasta, sugar, orange juice, along with other meals, such as curry.

Cleaning products of shampoo and washing up liquid have also been asked for, along with pet food. The site is open most days and for 14 hours a week.

Mr Carter added: “Unless we get some form of help we are going to struggle.”

He added: “We are big on doing things to help the community because the community has been so generous to us.”

Anyone who can donate or help can call the Community Cupboard office on 07526 823122 or email via communitycupboard19@gmail.com

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

Read more: All the latest news from Sevenoaks

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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