Foodbank stocks in Norwich bolstered days before Christmas to help families in need

STS Tyre pro staff with the collection for Norwich foodbank

STS Tyre pro staff with the collection for Norwich foodbank - Credit: Archant

A fresh effort to bolster the stocks of Norwich Foodbank has brought in more than half a tonne of food for the neediest in the city after a drive by a local business.

STS Tyre Pros, who have 11 centres across the region including in Norwich, Wymondham, Swaffham and Lowestoft, have been collecting in their centres and local schools and supermarkets.

And on Wednesday they delivered the haul to the Norwich Foodbank in time to help families get by over Christmas.

In total they delivered 550 kilos, which will give 70 people enough food for three meals each.

Rob Gainsborough, centre manager for Holt, said: 'We wanted to do something charitable for Christmas and we didn't feel it was appropriate to be asking or badgering our customers for money. 'The foodbank is something visible we can help with, and the more people put in, the more it inspires people to give.

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'The response has been absolutely fantastic. People have been coming into the centres after hearing about the appeal. The response has been phenomenal and we received far more than we anticipated.'

The team are already exploring ways to help the foodbank next year, including using their fleet of vans to make collections. 'When we first contacted Norwich foodbank we got a feel for what they do,' added Mr Gainsborough. 'We didn't know if people were just able to walk in off the street, but they all have to be recommended by a local authority. When they told us they will give out 1,000 food parcels this month that gave us a sense of the scale of the operation.

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'This will affect people directly over Christmas and give them a happier Christmas. It has definitely surpassed what we expected.'

Hannah Worsley, project manager at Norwich Foodbank, said they were delighted with the donation.

'It is always really great when people take it upon themselves to collect, and what was really lovely was Rob called us to ask what we really needed, so they could put it on their posters and ask for those donations specifically,' she said.

'We never know how much we are going to get or how people are going to respond to appeals for donations. When they turned up there was so much of it we were delighted. 'The fact that a new collection has started with STS is really encouraging because it shows people still want to give. It is a huge amount. In December we are expecting to give out more than 1,000 parcels, and with it expected to be so busy we really need to keep our stocks high. 'This also tides us over that quieter period when we get into January and gives us some time to work out what items we are still short of. The demand does not go down after Christmas and when we get into the new year we still have that colder weather.'

The items Norwich Foodbank will always be in need of include long life juice, long life sponge puddings, and tinned meat.

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