Stowmarket High School students fill foodbank’s shelves
PUBLISHED: 13:55 22 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:55 22 July 2016
Students and staff at a Suffolk school were so moved by the plight of hungry families that they rallied in support of their struggling foodbank.
Stowmarket High School donated 115kg of items to the foodbank after reading in the EADT of shortages following an “unprecedented” spike in demand.
Mike Smith, Stowmarket and Area Foodbank manager, said it was a “fantastic help”, particularly with August approaching; his busiest month.
He said stocks had reached an “all time low” last month when demand was at its highest in recent history.
Following publicity of the shortages, Mr Smith said there had been an increase in donations taking stock levels above the crucial level.
“We’ve turned a corner, things are improving but we still need a lot more support,” he added.
Dave Lee-Allan, headteacher at Stowmarket High School, said he was impressed by staff and students’ response to the end of term donation, which had been suggested by his personal assistant Michele Miall.
“We wish we could have done more,” he added.
“We know it’s not an enormous amount but we were quite touched by the students’ response.”
Mr Lee-Allan said that while he wanted to celebrate their generosity, it was a shame such donations were required.
“It really is a terrible indictment of the way things are,” he said.
“Firstly that we need foodbanks at all and secondly that they are out of food”.
Mr Smith said 62 families used the food bank in June – nearly twice the figure for the previous year.
He said August was traditionally their busiest month as the holidays meant no breakfast clubs or school lunches to help “families on the edge”.
Donations can be made at various shops and churches in the area, including the foodbank’s headquarters at New Life Church in the Hillside Community Centre, Stowmarket.
The foodbank is open from Tuesday to Friday from 9am-1pm and by appointment on Saturdays.
Food can be donated at the centre or by calling 01449 774000 to arrange a collection.