Harwich church goes from giving a one food parcel to over 60,000 meals in less than a year

Salvation Army

Lieutenant Shawn Moye said he and Victoria were very grateful for the support they received - Credit: Salvation Army

The Salvation Army church in Harwich raised money to buy more than 60,000 meals for individuals and families in need during the height of the pandemic last year.

Church leaders Lieutenants Shawn and Victoria Moye joined forces with Harwich Connexions to support people struggling to feed themselves and their families. The money came from public donations and grants.

By the end of September, The Salvation Army had provided enough food parcels to make 62,784 meals.

Until January 2020 Shawn and Victoria had only given out one food parcel. But when lockdown saw a surge in demand, they knew a different approach was needed.

Salvation Army

The food was bagged up in The Salvation Army Church in Harwich before it was delivered. - Credit: Salvation Army

Shawn said: “There was a real sense of urgency, and when we had requests for food parcels, we provided them as soon as possible. People started to donate, and a number of companies in and around the town also helped.

“A team of people went to Morrisons for supplies before the food was bagged up and taken to the community transport teams at Harwich Connexions.”

Victoria said: “The pandemic has left people facing debt and uncertainty. We had a message recently from Tendring District Council asking us to support someone who had to move without warning  – we were able to provide them with food in an hour.”

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The joint leaders teamed up with 22 other local organisations to launch support network Harwich Helps to aid people who are  vulnerable and self-isolating.

Help flooded in, including from Tendring District Councillor Ivan Henderson who instructed his team to deliver 10,000 leaflets to local people with details of the support available.

The leaders also paid tribute to all the volunteers who came forward to enable The Salvation Army to meet the demand in the first lockdown.

Shawn said: “We were much stronger together. Collaboration with others meant we had a much greater impact. But its easy to forget there are still people who are in real need. We’ve been blessed with donations,  and would also like to thank the public for all their support.”

If you’d like to donate to The Salvation Army in Harwich, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tsa-community-support-000210.

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