East of England Co-op answers call for help from Waveney Food bank

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The East of England Co-op has presented Waveney Foodbank with £1000 worth of store vouchers after the charity put out an urgent call for support.

The service, which covers south Norfolk, issued the emergency appeal with food stocks running so low they were concerned they could run out of food in just two months.

Niall O’Keefe, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “As a cooperative, we allocate a portion of our profits each year to supporting our communities. This year, we invited our members to tell us how we should spend that money by asking them to tell us about the community issues that matter to them.  One of their main concerns was food poverty. We already collect for food banks in most of our food stores, but this year we are planning to do more so that our food banks have the additional support they need to tackle this growing issue.”

Waveney Foodbank, which is part of The Trussell Trust's national network of foodbanks that provide emergency food and support to people in crisis, covers towns on both sides of the Norfolk/Suffolk border, with distribution centres in Diss, Harleston, Long Stratton, Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth and villages around and between Eye, Laxfield, Wickham Market and Framlingham.

Waveney Food Bank Manager, Matthew Scade, said demand was outstripping supply due to the increasing numbers of people seeking help from the service. He said: “Due to a demand in Foodbank need we were finding ourselves very short of food. Normally we would have 1500 kgs of food per month come, in and 1250kgs go out.

“Unfortunately, due to an unexpected rise in use we were giving out nearly 1000kgs per week. This donation will result in us being able to top up our food supplies to a more manageable level and give us breathing space to anticipate the continued rise in need locally.”

The East of England Co-op has food bank collection points in every one of its food stores and supermarkets collecting items for 22 Trussell Trust and independent food banks in local towns and villages throughout the region.

Some of the items your local food bank needs includes:

  • Tinned ready meals, vegetables, fruit and puddings
  • Pasta, rice and noodles
  • UHT milk, long life juice, tea and coffee
  • Cereal, jam and marmalade
  • Biscuits, crisps and treats
  • Baby products – milk, nappies, wipes
  • Toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitary products

Find your nearest store here.