Foodbank issues rallying call as demand outstrips supply by ‘one tonne per month’

Ely Foodbank volunteers, from Left: Tony Stronell, Alan Williams and Pat Tasker.

Ely Foodbank volunteers, from Left: Tony Stronell, Alan Williams and Pat Tasker. - Credit: Archant

The need for food to help people struggling with homelessness and debt is now out-stripping supply by as much as a tonne every month, according to the Ely Foodbank partnership.

With harvest festival celebrations drawing closer, the partnership is renewing calls for support with donations of non-perishable foods including long-life milk, fruit juice, pasta sauces, tea and tinned goods.

Launched in 2012, in Ely, the foodbank partnership has expanded rapidly, with outlets in Soham Littleport, Chatteris and March and plans afoot to open another branch in Sutton.

Alan Williams, from Ely Foodbank, said: ““The need for crisis food in the partnership area is now exceeding supply by roughly the rate of one tonne of food per month and, as we approach harvest time, the need is for non-perishable foods with at least three months on their expiry date.

“We are very grateful for the regular giving by members of our local community to help those local people who find themselves in short-term food crisis.

“I am proud of these members of our community who give so generously throughout the year, as well as those people who volunteer at the foodbanks in our partnership, and I am especially proud of Cathy Wright who coordinates Ely Foodbank’s operations.

“Ely Foodbank partnership is an unusual ‘business’ in that it does not want ‘repeat customers’, is run entirely by volunteers and is driven by the gifts of shoppers and other donors in our local area.”

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People can donate by simply dropping off food at the collection points in local supermarkets, schools and church harvest festivals.

The foodbank also this week announced the introduction of an answering service in association with PA Answer, of St Mary Street, Ely.

Ely Foodbank has a new telephone number, 01353 468 626. All calls made between 8.30am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, will be answered immediately by PA Answer staff, so callers will always speak to a person, rather an answer phone.

Ely Foodbank partnership staff will then make contact with all callers.