Support for Local Food Banks

Sat, Aug 1st 2020 at 12:00 am - 11:55 pm

How the Club has helped Food Banks during the Pandemic


The following article was published by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo and is reprinted with permission

Rotary Club donates £2K worth of essential items to Northampton food banks as members forfeit lunch refunds

Tinned food, pasta, nappies and so much more has been donated.

By Carly Odell

Tim Bedward (front) and Brian May (right) from Northampton Rotary Club making a donation to Esther Veal and her daughter Eleanor Veal at Re:store food bank. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.  Copyright: jpimedia

The Rotary Club of Northampton has donated thousands of pounds worth of food to three local food banks.

Northampton Rotary Club, which usually meets at Miller and Carter, in Round Spinney, every Monday for lunch, has had to cancel its meetings during the pandemic lockdown.

The members of the club that meet at lunchtime had already paid for their weekly lunches, so rather than accept a refund they agreed to use the money to support local food banks and the Club's Satellite Group members, who do not have a pre-paid meal at their evening meetings, matched the refund amount, too.

From tinned food to nappies, the club donated £2,000 worth of essentials to Re:store, St Albans Church and The Hope Centre on Friday April 24.

David George, who has been a Rotary club member for 26 years, said: “We started supporting Re:store six years ago.

“We usually do four big collections a year, which are normally a car load of food donated from rotary members.

“The crisis we are in at the moment, not just the pandemic, means the need in food banks is higher.

I suggested to my club that we don’t claim our money back for the lunches, which are prepaid as part of our subs, and contribute to the food banks instead.

“Over two months that’s around £1,000.”

Once David had gained the support of his fellow members, he contacted the district responsible for 87 rotary clubs in East Anglia to ask for a grant, who agreed to add £1,000 to what the club raises.

With £2,000 to spend, two members who do not need to self-isolate, Tim Bedward and Brian May, visited Waitrose in Kingsthorpe, where they bought essentials such as tinned meat, fish and fruit, toilet roll, and sanitary products, which they delivered to Re-store and St Albans.  Subsequently, Tim (left) collected items from Aldi and delivered them to the Hope Food Bank

David, who could not help with the delivery, as he is self-isolating, believes supporting food banks in this way is so important in the current climate.

"I think helping food banks is essential.  It has been going on for a long time but because of the pandemic it is even worse,” continued David.  “People are poor and can not get out, some have lost their jobs so more and more people are coming to food banks.  The pandemic has brought us together, and a lot of people are being very generous.  Our members really wanted to help out.”

The food and other essential items that have been donated to the local food banks will help those who are struggling most during the pandemic.

Louise Danielczuk, fundraising and marketing manager at The Hope Centre, added: “Northampton Hope Centre are always pleased to have the support of Northampton Rotary Clubs and this is an incredible support that helps us at this really difficult time".

“The food will go directly to feed the hungry of Northampton”

Further Support in May...

Following the success of the April donations the Club repeated the process in May, and  purchased an additional £1,000 worth of assorted items, which were delivered to Re-store and St Albans by Rtns Brian May & Peter Swallow, shown loading his car (left)..

...and since

And in June, another £1000 worth of  items from Waitrose and £500 from Bookers was delivered to the three food banks.

In total £5,900 worth of food and household goods have been donated thanks to the tremendous spirit of our members.

In addition, we gave extra help to Shelterbox, Re:Store refurburbishment and End Polio Now from the donations and attendant Gift Aid. This is truly what Rotary is all about.

With Covid-19 still keeping us from meeting for lunch, the funds have been buiding up and in October we have donated £250 to St Alban the Martyr for the Re:store Food Bank's undergoing structural alterations, and £700 worth of food from Aldi to the Food Bank itself.  In addition a further £700 worth of food items from Aldi has been delivered to to the Hope Centre.

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