Ryedale Community Foodbank receives £1,000 donation from Pickering councillor
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Volunteers at Ryedale Community Foodbank received the donation from North Yorkshire Council’s member for the Pickering division, Cllr Joy Andrews, to continue their vital work after witnessing a rise in referrals for struggling families for not only food, but everyday items such as cleaning products, washing powder and toiletries, which are not routinely included in donations.
Each North Yorkshire councillor has a budget of £10,000 a year to allow them to respond to local needs by supporting specific community-led activities.
Each councillor is responsible for determining how they wish to promote and use the budget, before seeking approval from the council.
Cllr Andrews said: “This group has seen a drop in donations from the supermarket collection points as the cost of living and recent mortgage rises have led to those who have not been affected by the cost-of-living crisis previously now cutting back with their donations.
“Money can also give the group the flexibility to buy products that aren’t necessarily donated but are needed, such as feminine products for teenage girls and toothpaste, shampoo, toiletries and so on.”
She added: “The community foodbank is a worthwhile cause, a much-needed service within the community and I am so grateful we have such dedicated volunteers willing to provide this valuable service.”
Ryedale Community Foodbank began operating as an independent foodbank in April 2022 to succeed the discontinued Ryedale Foodbank (Trussell Trust).
Run entirely by volunteers, it consists of three hubs serving local communities in Norton and Malton, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside.
Each hub is operated entirely by volunteers.
There are currently 19 volunteers serving communities in Pickering.
Local resident and trustee of the foodbank Alan Robinson, who has been volunteering at the facility for the past five years, said: “We are seeing people who would never have dreamt of coming to us before.
"Many are desperate and, sadly, the situation is not getting any better.
“We try to provide food parcels to those in need in the local area from local food donations, but there are inevitably shortfalls in some items of food, toiletries and cleaning materials at times and we need to use cash donations and funding from RCF to purchase items to supplement donations.
“The money from Cllr Andrews’ locality funding gives us the independence to purchase items locally as required and retain self-sufficiency in Pickering, while also supporting the local economy.
"The funding therefore provides a huge amount of help to struggling families in the Pickering area.”
He added: “We are extremely grateful to Cllr Andrews for not only providing this funding but also for her ongoing support of the Pickering Hub of Ryedale Community Foodbank.”
The Hungate Centre at Pickering is open every Thursday from 4pm to 6pm, but volunteers are in attendance from 2.30pm to 6.30pm, collecting and accepting donations of food, registering and storing food, preparing food parcels, welcoming clients, talking to and signposting clients and occasionally delivering food parcels.