Ely Foodbank targets successful Christmas after taking huge Harvest haul

The harvest collection at St John's Community Primary School, part of four tonnes of food donated to

The harvest collection at St John's Community Primary School, part of four tonnes of food donated to Ely Foodbank this autumn. - Credit: Archant

Ely Foodbank is setting its sights on a successful Christmas after taking a massive harvest haul.

The Chapel Street based-service, which helps those less fortunate with food donated by the public, accepted a whopping four tonnes of donations from schools, churches and businesses East Cambridgeshire and Fenland over the harvest period.

Cathy Wright, who runs the city foodbank, said: “Such amazing giving by the general public means that the charity can continue to help people who are struggling with the change of benefits and also with increasing fuel bills.

“When clients speak of being without money for the stated time of six weeks, the foodbanks help with this hard time. With clients going without money for 10 weeks and with no buffer to rely on, times can get tricky. Families are already worrying about Christmas and it’s an added strain on managing their every day lives.”

The foodbank has now turned its attentions towards Christmas and is relaunching its festive hamper campaign, which invites the public to donate Christmas themed foods such as Christmas puddings, dried fruit, chocolates and sweets, biscuits and mince pies.

“This is a hard time for us and we find that we are being squeezed as the new benefit system takes hold,” Cathy added.

“It is amazing that we have had such a good spell of giving during the harvest celebrations because without that top-up, we would struggle to get through the winter.

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“As the last of the harvest donations are stored away, the foodbank prepares for Christmas. If you can collect any items together to pass onto your local foodbank, this will help any people who feel they cannot be part of the festivities.

“Small toys, treats and toiletries can be donated either as a complete hamper or a selection for the foodbank to make into hampers.”

Donations are being taken until Tuesday December 5. Home-made, opened or out of date food, perishable items, medicines or alcohol, or second hand items will not be accepted.

For more information on how to donate or how to become a volunteer, email info@elyfoodbank.org.uk or call 01353 468626.