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The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill rises to the challenge in challenging times

The Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill donates to local food banks

During the current social distancing restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill has had to come up with ways of keeping the spirit of the club alive and, as many more organisations have done, it has resorted to the magic of Zoom and since lock-down has been holding meeting via the internet.

This has resulted in not just keeping the spirit of the club alive, it has allowed us to re-acquaint some of the members with old friends who have moved away, members of other clubs that they had previous associations with and it has allowed us to carry on doing the business of Rotary – helping out in the community.

The Club has made donations of £500 to Age Concern Essex and £500 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Southend towards providing emergency food packages from their food banks. 

The St. Vincent de Paul Society has for many years helped to provide night shelters for the homeless, During the current corona virus crisis, the rough sleepers have been housed by Southend Borough Council but still require to be fed so the Society has re-organised to provide food packages to 100 rough sleepers in Southend.

Meeting via Zoom has meant that the members of the Rotary Club no longer meet for a meal and, early in lock-down, the members decided to donate the money that they would usually spend on a meal to local food banks including Age Concern Essex, Rayleigh Evangelical Church Food Bank and the Hopeworx Food Hub.

Both church-run Food Banks are funded by donations of food from the local supermarkets themselves, individual donations of food in supermarkets and by individual money donations.

The Hopeworx Food Hub works with many schools and other social agencies within our area who identify families in crisis and in need of food. The key worker of the agency connects with Hopeworx to request a food pack and provide the relevant details of the family including dietary needs. The key worker then collects the pack and takes it to the household in question, thereby maintaining dignity for the household. The Hopeworx Hub is working with Rochford District Council and is providing these Emergency Food Packs to Category C households who, for whatever reason, do not have the resources to be able to purchase food at this difficult time.