Many of us will perhaps be enjoying a somewhat different Christmas this year, and I obviously hope it will still be a peaceful and fulfilling time for all in our community. However, this edition of the CRN gives me an opportunity to remind all readers that the work of our villages' Food Bank is continuing and the needs of some in our community become even more stark at this time of year.
I thought it may be interesting to share several statistics around our volunteer work. The Food Bank has been operating now since the end of April, and we have been thrilled to receive financial donations in excess of £5,000, over and above so many food and other necessary items that are freely given each week. As a group we are so grateful to those who have donated (and a number of our people support us on a very regular basis). Please remember that every financial donation (however small or large) goes totally into supplying food and other necessities for our clients. No administrative or other costs are taken as those of us who volunteer give our time and energies freely in terms of buying items, and then also receiving food that is so kindly donated as well as preparing, packing and delivering the food boxes every Wednesday and Saturday. We believe that over this period we have prepared approaching 350 food boxes for our clients, and every one of them has been so gratefully received. The majority of our clients are family households, but not exclusively, so each box is often vital to several persons.
As I prepare this report, the group who volunteer has committed to continue the work for at least the next six months, so we are seeking to put this work on a more formal footing and we shall be sharing more information on that in the near future. You will have noticed that we are known as the Curry Rivel, Hambridge and Drayton Food Bank and that is because we really do work across all three villages. Some of our core group of volunteers are from Drayton and are a central part of our team. In addition, we are supported every week with regular donations from Hambridge, through our valued collection point at Hambridge Village Stores. It is a chance here also to thank Grace at the Village Stores who has organised a reverse advent calendar for us to take place throughout December. The support of local business is really important to us, and I have previously expressed our huge gratitude to the lovely teams of staff both in Curry Rivel One Stop and at Hambridge Village Stores for all they do for us.
Our work is spreading too, as this month we were very grateful to receive support from Black Sheep Butchers in Langport. We believe the needs of our clients may well increase over the Christmas period, so every donation of items of food or money will be so gratefully received. We remain open to receive these every Wednesday and Saturday (12 noon – 1 pm) pre-Christmas up until and including Wednesday 23rd December. We hope we may be able to provide extra Christmas treats for those who need assistance at this time to make the holiday a little more special for them. Happy Christmas from all who volunteer at the Food Bank; we very much appreciate your support. I believe it really does show the strength of community spirit in our village.