Sherborne Food Bank appeals for help to feed families during the school holidays
For many families the summer school holidays are an opportunity for time together, trips away and plenty of fun. But for some families in our own local community it brings an added challenge with the struggle to feed their children – children who during term-time receive free school meals but are left in need during the summer break.
Referrals are made via local social care agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, The Rendezvous, Magna Housing, GP surgeries, the Children’s Centre and The Yeatman Hospital (as well as schools and churches). Need can result from a wide range of crisis situations including unexpected illness or unemployment, homelessness, relationship breakdown and delays in receiving benefits. Most referrals are made for a three week duration, with all decisions made by the agencies who are also able to provide long-term support and advice. Trustee Jono Tregale says:
“Many families facing financial challenges only just manage to make ends meet during term-time because of the provision of free school meals. During school holidays that life-line ends, coupled with parents’ need to either reduce working hours or pay for additional childcare for their children during the day. Sherborne Food Bank would like to help as many families as possible but food donations often decline over the summer as others go away on their own holidays. We’re so grateful to all those who donate throughout the year but would like to particularly encourage generosity as we head towards the critical summer months.”
Sherborne Food Bank has been active in the local area for over five years. It is an independent registered charity and is run in accordance with clear policies and procedures established to ensure that its work is conducted with high levels of integrity and accountability. Centred on Sherborne and Milborne Port, deliveries from the food bank extend further in every direction – with its main donation points being the Co-operative at Westbridge Park, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose supermarkets as well baskets inside Sherborne Abbey and other local churches, where non-perishable food items can be donated.
The food bank is also encouraging an increase in cash donations as Andrew Horsey, Treasurer, explains:
“Despite the generosity of the local community in donating food items at our main collection points there are times when the food bank runs short of specific essential items – and these can vary from week to week. We would very much like to increase cash donations in order to buy essential food stocks, as well as non-food items such as nappies and toiletries. Some people prefer to support our work with a monetary donation which can be set up easily on our website as a one-off gift or regular payment through JustGiving. As a registered charity we are also able to claim back tax as Gift Aid.”
For more information on supporting the Sherborne Food Bank as a volunteer or donor, or if you need help from us, please contact 07854 163869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.sherbornefoodbank.org where you will find options for online giving along with details of our donation points and referring agencies.
Image credit Katharine Davies: Family donating at Sainsbury’s collection point in Sherborne, Dorset