Foodbank takes delivery of huge 40ft container to deal with rising demand

Mike Smith, who runs Stowmarket and Area Foodbank, with the new container

Mike Smith, who runs Stowmarket and Area Foodbank, with the new container - Credit: Stowmarket and Area Foodbank

A massive 40ft container has been delivered to help a foodbank cope with rising demand after the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of families relying on emergency food parcels shot up by more than 700% in some parts of Suffolk during the first year of the Covid crisis, as furlough and lockdowns took their toll.

Stowmarket and Area Foodbank had to move its packing operation from Hillside Community Centre to a farm building towards the south of the town, to give it more space.

But even then demand was still high, with volunteers needing a lot more space to store donated goods.

Fortunately, a chance meeting between Mike Smith, who runs with foodbank, and Secure Stores Nationwide managing director Sarah Manning resulted in her sending a 40ft container to help.

"We’re delighted," said Mr Smith.

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"The container’s our main store now and the place where we keep all our longer dated stock. We couldn’t function without it."

People can donate food to Stowmarket and Area Foodbank at its drop-off points at Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Solar and Stowupland Garage.

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There are also drop-off points at Co-op stores in Needham Market, Haughley, Elmswell and Woolpit, as well as Hillside Community Centre and many nearby churches.

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