No Christmas break for Norwich Foodbank as donations continue to pour in

Norwich Foodbank. Reporter Mark Shields, left, with volunteers and the final consignment of food from readers. Photo: Steve Adams Norwich Foodbank. Reporter Mark Shields, left, with volunteers and the final consignment of food from readers. Photo: Steve Adams

Mark Shields mark.shields@archant.co.uk
Friday, December 27, 2013
5:05 PM

Christmas is usually a time for putting your feet up and enjoying a well-deserved rest.

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But there is no time for that at Norwich Foodbank, where volunteers are still working frantically to deal with the mountains of donations made by readers and other generous people across the city.

The final shipment of treats and essentials donated by readers at Archant Norfolk head office was dropped off at the foodbank warehouse yesterday, adding to the 10 trays handed over last week.

Throughout December, the Norwich Evening News and Eastern Daily Press have been calling on readers to give generously to the foodbank, to make sure that adults and children in our communities do not have to go hungry, this Christmas or beyond.

And the response from readers has been overwhelming, with more than 10 tonnes donated, with yet more to be counted. Foodbank bosses expect that figure to rise by several tonnes, more than doubling last year’s December total.

It has meant that every person who needed food from Norwich Foodbank at Christmas has received it, and every child received a selection box.

Volunteer Pat Moore said he hoped there had been a shift in the way people perceived foodbanks.

“Before, there was a feeling any old lag could just come along for a cheap meal, because the food is free, but the reality is very different.

“When you stand there on distribution days and you see the reaction from people – the humiliation, the embarrassment, the unnecessary shame – you see that people do not want to be there.

“The fact that they are sometimes not understood by the wider public makes it worse. But they are not milking the system: they are genuinely in crisis.”

The collection at Archant offices has now ended, but donations can still be left at Norwich Foodbank, Henderson industrial units, Ivy Road, Norwich.

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