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Foodbank welcomes £60k pledge from council as demand increases

PUBLISHED: 09:17 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 26 March 2020

FIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITH

FIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITH

Archant

Suffolk County Council has pledged a £60,000 donation to help foodbanks during the coronavirus pandemic after an overwhelming increase in the number of people needing parcels.

Maureen Reynel MBE is the found of FIND. Picture: HANNA SMITHMaureen Reynel MBE is the found of FIND. Picture: HANNA SMITH

Maureen Reynel MBE, founder of Families In Need (FIND), has welcomed the announcement after requesting aid last week.

She said: “The council are doing something sensible with this donation.

“There should be a fair ratio of how the money is divided up, as some food banks are smaller and obviously FIND are one of the largest, but we will have to wait and see how that is decided.”

The Suffolk charity has seen an unprecedented surge in recent weeks as families hit by the government restrictions on work and travel have found themselves in need.

FIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITHFIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITH

Mrs Reynel said she doesn’t see the situation calming down for a while and the staff are working longer, harder hours to keep up with the demand.

MORE: All the latest on coronavirus

“We have made 50 parcels today and I wouldn’t be surprised if we did 200 next week,” she said.

“As soon as we make up the parcels the shelves are empty again.”

FIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITHFIND have seen an increase in the number of families in need of food parcels. Picture: HANNA SMITH

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The charity has been heavily screening the referrals during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that the food isn’t just going to someone who can’t find anything in the shops.

However, Mrs Reynel has been bowled over by the incredible kindness from local shops and donors – Krusty’s Bakery in Reynolds Road closed for business last week and will now be baking bread for free to donate to the charity while Raja Stores has donated sacks of rice and potatoes.

“The generosity of people has been overwhelming,” she added.

“We have people turning up to contribute whatever they can while one elderly gentleman left us £1,000 in cash.

“Others send in £5 or £10 cheques.

“All of the selfish people and bad stories are far outweighed by the good.”

MORE: ‘Stop being selfish’: Foodbank bosses call for calm in supermarkets

Paul West, cabinet member for communities at Suffolk County Council, said:

“It is now more important than ever to look after those most in need in our neighbourhoods.

“This donation is one small part of the extremely valuable work that is being done in our communities with our partners across Suffolk.”


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