Thousands of meals provided in just six months by fledgling Ely Foodbank

Volunteer Alison Bowles sorting out the dry package store.

Volunteer Alison Bowles sorting out the dry package store. - Credit: Archant

ELY Foodbank has provided a staggering 6,000 meals to people in need in the city in just six months since it opened its doors.

The foodbank, based in Barton Road, welcomed its first few users back in October but has continued to grow since then, providing meals for scores of families and individuals struggling in the difficult economic conditions.

Collections held by volunteers at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose in the city have helped keep the foodbank stocked up with three tons of food and Tesco will be supporting the foodbank later in the year with a weekend collection in July.

Co-ordinator, Cathy Wright, said: “It has been amazing how generous people are and a huge thank you goes to all who donate food. It appears to have a sustainability surrounding it, which without, we could not consider developing the foodbank to reach people in this way.

“We have seen many people whose situations have changed quickly and it is often said that we are all a pay day away from lives being changed dramatically. We are investigating the possibility of purchasing a vehicle so that those in remote, rural areas can be reached.”

As benefit changes take hold in April, Cathy said that the foodbank is expecting to be increasingly busy.

Foodbank volunteers are preparing for a busy few weeks and will start their supermarket collection at Waitrose on March 23 from 10am-4pm to collect donations.

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“We will be particularly targeting the low stock items of tinned vegetables, coffee, smash potatoes and tinned sponge puddings,” Cathy added.

Ely Methodist Church, in Chapel Street is holding a coffee morning on the same day to raise funds and stall is being run on Ely Market March 28 for those who would like to know more about the service.