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Foodbank Scheme Which Gives 150% Asks Public For Support

A world-leading charity initiative to supply foodbanks across the region is asking for more help from the public to make sure no-one goes hungry as the post-Covid recession bites.

Rotary4foodbanks has set up a Just Giving page and is asking people to dig deep to help. Its £100,000 programme is already providing much needed food supplies to foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire but say the organisers, there is so much more to be done.

In what is believed to be the first scheme of its kind, Rotary Clubs across the region have teamed up and pooled their fund-raising resources to buy goods wholesale for supply to local foodbanks.  “By working at scale and buying at wholesale prices we can get as much as 50% more value for each pound donated,” says the programme organiser Rotarian John Cavey. “We focus on bulk buying the things we know are in big demand – tea, coffee, cereals, tinned fruit – and sharing them out across the many superb foodbanks in the region.”

Since introducing the scheme, just eight weeks ago, Rotary4foodbanks has already delivered over £60,000 worth of food to around 50 foodbanks from Nottingham and Lincoln to Derby, Burton and Sheffield.  “The whole scheme is run by volunteers and we have had tremendous support from businesses who have stepped in to help with logistics and delivery.  But we are still just scratching the surface. Every penny we receive buys food at the best possible price – all our costs are met by volunteers and supporters.

Loading a Rotary4Foodbanks volunteer’s van with goods purchased through the initiative

“Rotarians are committed to charitable work in the community and will continue to raise funds for this vital project but we need more help from the public and from businesses across the region.  That is why we have set up our Just Giving page now to make it easy to donate.”

John and his team hope to top £150,000 during the summer and plan to team up with other clubs across the country to extend the Rotary4foodbanks beyond the East Midlands and South Yorkshire region later in the year.

“Foodbanks tell us they are already seeing a huge spike in demand and that they expect that increase to continue as more people lose their jobs and struggle to make ends meet.”

His views are echoed by Paul Laffey who runs the YMCA foodbank in Burton on Trent which has had support from Rotary:

“When a pallet stacked high with porridge, coffee, tea, tinned tuna and other vital supplies arrived, we were overjoyed.  Demand is up by 51% compared with the same period last year, and we expect that to increase still further as the economic impact of the pandemic unfolds.  We rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations like Rotary to ensure that those in crisis in our community don’t go hungry.”

Anyone wishing to support the Rotary4foodbanks initiative can donate by visiting the Just Giving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks

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Arnold Foodbank gets Rotary boost as demand for food parcels soars in Nottingham

Arnold Foodbank is receiving 100 requests every week for food parcels and that number is set to increase still further as the economic downturn bites, warns foodbank manager Helen Lloyd.

But a new £100,000 scheme by local Rotary Clubs is providing a vital lifeline for Arnold Foodbank and others across the region, as Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club’s Val Leivers explains:
“Organisations like Arnold Foodbank do brilliant work at local level in the community. They rely for supplies on the support of supermarkets, businesses and the general public making donations.  As local Rotarians we wanted to help in a big way too.  Delivering 150 cases of food supplies seemed a good way to do that.

“The Rotary4Foodbanks scheme, run entirely by volunteers, is an East Midlands and South Yorkshire initiative which pools funds and bulk buys staple food supplies at wholesale prices which it distributes to foodbanks across the region.  By the end of July it will have distributed food with a wholesale value of around £100,000 and has plans to extend the scheme as demands on foodbanks continue to rise.”

According to Helen Lloyd, who heads a team of volunteers running the Arnold operation from Daybrook Baptist Church on Mansfield Rd, the foodbank is seeing more new users needing food than ever before:
“As the furlough system ends and more people face redundancy, we are expecting to see demand increase still further.  We are bracing ourselves for the second wave.  We enjoy marvellous support from local supermarkets and the general public but the additional help we are now getting from Rotary is proving a real lifeline, providing us with bulk supplies of key staples like tea, coffee, cereal and tinned fruit at a time of real need for so many vulnerable people locally.”

(right) Helen Lloyd of Arnold Foodbank checking stock with volunteer Marie Longford.

The Arnold team has been operating a delivery service during lockdown, with volunteer drivers ensuring that people as far afield as Carlton and Basford who are unable to collect food parcels don’t go hungry. 
Since its formation in 1994, Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club has helped many thousands of people and raised over £500,000 for good causes, most of which has been used to support community projects in Sherwood and Nottingham.

Support the scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page


Arnold Foodbank

Part of the Trussell Trust, Arnold Foodbank operates out of Daybrook Baptist Church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG5 6AA

It distributes food – primarily three day parcels of balanced nutritious food for individuals and families – between 1.30 and 3.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

It is run primarily by volunteers and depends on donations and support from supermarkets, businesses, individuals and other charities to complete its vital community work.

Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Arnold Foodbank provides a minimum of 3 days emergency food to help people in a crisis. The Foodbank is supported and run by local churches in Arnold. To volunteer, donate, or find out more about its services, visit https://arnold.foodbank.org.uk/


Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club

The club currently has 18 members. Since its formation in 1994, Sherwood Sunrisers has helped many thousands of people and raised over £500,000 for good causes, most of which has been used to support community projects in Sherwood and Nottingham.

Contact: Val Leivers

E: val_leivers@yahoo.co.uk

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks, Sherwood Sunrisers

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St Leger Club races in to help Doncaster Foodbank as demand soars

Two local Rotary clubs have joined forces as part of a £100,000 charity support campaign to supply foodbanks across the region.  And, says Sandra Edwards, Project Manager at Doncaster Foodbank based at Christ Church on Thorne Road, the support couldn’t have come at a better time as she and her team of volunteers strive to meet the soaring demand for its emergency food parcel service.

A recent Rotary delivery to the Doncaster Foodbank’s warehouse at Kirk Sandall included vital bulk supplies of tea, coffee, porridge and tinned fruit to restock shelves depleted as a result of a 40% increase in demand for food from individuals and families in Doncaster in the past month alone.

“In the past twelve months prior to the lockdown we have provided food for over 5500 people.  Almost 2000 of those were children who, without our input, would have gone hungry,” says Sandra Edwards. “We expect those numbers to increase significantly as the impact of Covid-19 and the downturn in the economy bite still further, impacting hardest on people already struggling to cope.

Sandra Edwards at Doncaster Foodbank

“We get fantastic support from local supermarkets and the general public but having a major charity organisation like Rotary stepping in to help too, provides us with another precious lifeline.”

The Rotary4Foodbanks scheme, run entirely by volunteers, is an East Midlands and South Yorkshire initiative which pools funds and bulk buys staple food supplies at wholesale prices which it distributes to foodbanks across the region.  By the end of July it will have distributed food with a wholesale value of around £100000 and has plans to extend the scheme as demands on foodbanks continue to rise.

Doncaster St Leger Rotary Club has partnered with its sister club, Doncaster Rotary, to support the scheme.  Says Lis Rodgers, of St Leger: “We could see that the Covid-19 pandemic was having a devastating effect on some of the most vulnerable people in our community.  We knew of the excellent work that Doncaster Foodbank was doing and so pledged to help. As part of the bigger Rotary4foodbanks initiative to bulk buy, the money we donate works harder, goes further, to help ensure no-one in the borough goes hungry.”

The club is well known in the borough for its charity work.  Amongst many other initiatives the St Leger Rotary Club also supports the local Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support charity.  The club recently made a £700 donation to help keep Firefly’s services running during lockdown.

Support the scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page

Rotary4foodbanks is a Rotary response to the growing demands on foodbanks in the UK.  Initially operating in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, it is attracting interest from Rotary across the UK.  Whilst it was launched in response to the Covid-19 crisis, it is actually a long-term initiative to deliver a sustainable, cost-effective food sourcing programme for foodbanks.

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks via our JustGiving page

Doncaster foodbank

Part of the Trussell Trust, Doncaster Foodbank operates out of Christ Church, Thorne Road, Doncaster, DN1 2HG

It distributes food – primarily three day parcels of balanced nutritious food for individuals and families – between 10am and 12 noon on Wednesdays and Fridays.

It is run primarily by volunteers and depends on donations and support from supermarkets, businesses, individuals and other charities to complete its vital community work.

In the past year it has served over 5500 people of whom almost 2000 were children.

To volunteer, donate, or find out more about its services, visit https://www.doncaster.foodbank.org.uk/

Doncaster St Leger Rotary Club

One of three Rotary Clubs in Doncaster, St Leger has 35 members from all walks of life who are committed to charity work locally and internationally.

Contact: Dr Lis Rodgers lis.rodgers@gmail.com

Posted in: Doncaster St Leger, Rotary4Foodbanks

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New 1220 District Governor Keep ROTARY ‘Staying Alert’

Doctor Jill Bethell MBE takes over as District 1220 Governor in July. The retired doctor will lead the team ensuring Rotary has fresh vigour to be ‘alert’ to the needs of communities throughout the East Midland and South Yorkshire.  

During and beyond the covid-19 pandemic, 67 local Rotary groups have continued to support by uniting and take action in our communities and beyond. A regional foodbank supply scheme is now in operation and a number of grants have been made to schools, individuals and organisations making PPE for hospitals and care centres. Rotary International have given $20million to support foodbanks worldwide.

President of Rotary International 20-21 during her training in San Diego USA earlier this year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic

Retired Dronfield GP Jill said, “Many lessons have and are being learned during this pandemic. As COVID-19 changes the way we live so it changes how Rotary operates and what we do. Let’s all turn our challenges into stepping stones to success in different ways than we’ve previously enjoyed.”

Jill, a Londoner by birth, trained in Sheffield and has spent many years in Dronfield and is privileged to be very much part of the Community. Jill, with others, started the Welcome Club on Tuesdays in memory of her father who had multiple sclerosis; the Cardio Club for those with heart problems – often Jills’ Friday evening surgeries were busy with men from 50-70 years,  who had had heart attacks, needing to “touchbase” and check out their concerns. Dronfield’s keen, vibrant St John Ambulance Unit invited Jill to be President; Dronfield Guides to be their Ambassador and a Church Warden for 5 years. Jill and husband Tony were both very honoured to receive MBEs at the same time in 2011, for Services to the Community of Dronfield.

Jill will lead Rotary as it develops through Covid-19 with greater use of technology such as video conference meetings and Rotary E clubs where members do much work online.

Jill said, “Rotary needs to keep alert to present very difficult and different circumstances. We need to modernise and move on in the 21st century with younger members enabling Rotary to help address community needs both during and after this pandemic.”

Posted in: DGNews, Dronfield

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Rotary teams up with local food banks to fight hunger in South Yorkshire

A new initiative to supply hard-pressed food banks is up and running in Sheffield where Rotary has teamed up with the Trussell Trust team at Sheffield S6 to combat hunger in the city.

With roughly a quadrupling of demand for foodbank supplies, Sam Evans at Sheffield S6 Foodbank Hub says that, more than ever, the whole community is pulling together to help.  But, he fears, the issues of hunger and deprivation are not going to go away any time soon.

Sheffield S6, part of the Trussell Trust, now provides a distribution hub for seven foodbanks in the city. “We are currently distributing £10000 of food and essentials each week to some of the neediest in the community.  Last week alone we delivered to 314 households, providing for almost 800 people.  That’s around four times the volume for the same week last year.  And that number is rising,” says Sam.

The combination of Covid lockdown and the economic fallout has seen more families than ever struggling to make ends meet. Nationally the Trussell Trust has reported unprecedented demand for its services.

But a new initiative by Rotary is helping to ensure that the limited funds of many of the region’s foodbanks go further still.  Local club Abbeydale Rotary is part of the region-wide programme, Rotary4foodbanks, launched last month across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

With money donated by clubs, supporters and from the foodbanks themselves, Rotary4foodbanks uses its buying expertise to source food for foodbanks at prices they could not achieve and also elicits donations from food processing companies. The scheme is supported by regional transport and logistics companies who provide staff and transport free of charge.  Goods are then sent from a central depot in Nottinghamshire to the Sheffield S6 hub and elsewhere. Local volunteers then distribute the supplies onwards to the individual foodbanks across Sheffield and Rotherham.

Says Graham Stevens of the Abbeydale Club: “It is a real team effort.  Smaller foodbanks can order supplies through Rotary4foodbanks and see their limited funds work harder.  In a real spirit of co-operation, Sheffield S6 warehouses the bulk supplies until they can be collected by or delivered to individual foodbanks.  Just this week Rotary4foodbanks delivered 3300 units of product – around 350 cases of porridge, tea, coffee and other essentials, on pallets to the Sheffield S6 hub.”

While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, the plan is to roll it out more broadly.  “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks elsewhere in the country.  In the North East especially, Rotarians are looking to utilise the scheme to help meet that demand,” says the scheme’s co-ordinator, John Cavey.

Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally.  “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public and businesses to see us through.”

Sam Evans says: “Not just in the Sheffield region, but across the country generally, it looks likely that the problem is only going to get worse.  Supermarkets and Rotary have been brilliant in stepping up to the mark and we know they will continue to do so.  Here at Sheffield S6, we are looking to work even more closely with other local charities, businesses and individual volunteers to ensure that no-one goes hungry in South Yorkshire.”

Anyone wanting to help in the Rotary4foodbanks programme – or foodbanks requiring support – can contact John Cavey at rotaryfoundation1220@gmail.com or Tel: 07855 299443

Anyone needing food in Sheffield can contact S6 foodbank on Tel: 0114 321 0733.

Support the Rotary4foodbanks scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page

Posted in: Abbeydale, Rotary4Foodbanks

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District 1220 Thanksgiving Service

You are invited to the Rotary District 1220 Thanksgiving Service

on

SUNDAY 28TH JUNE, 2020 AT 2.30PM

FROM THE VICARAGE OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, SHEFFIELD

SERVICE CONDUCTED BY ROTARIAN REV. CANON PETER INGRAM

In attendance

DISTRICT GOVERNOR, DAVID HOOD

Please register in advance for this service by visiting;

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAuc-moqzovGNyGDec-8jHrbVR3Ngz1nKo9

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email
containing information about joining the meeting.

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Rotary steps in to help local YMCA foodbanks in busiest year ever

Local Rotary Clubs have teamed up with YMCA foodbanks in Burton and Derby to meet growing demand in what Paul Laffey of the YMCA describes as the busiest year ever in his 34 years in the charity sector.

As part of an East Midlands-wide initiative, the Rotary Club of Derby Mercia has donated £2000 worth of supplies to the two YMCA foodbanks, topping up a regular donation made to Burton YMCA foodbank by Bretby and Burton Rotary clubs.

Natasha Aishford – Volunteer Co-Ordinator holding some of the large quantity of food donated to YMCA Burton by Rotary4foodbanks

Says Paul Laffey, who heads up a large team of volunteers, ten of whom operate the YMCA Burton foodbank from James Street in Burton:

 “When a pallet stacked high with porridge, coffee, tea, tinned tuna and other vital supplies arrived, we were overjoyed.  Demand is up by 51% compared with the same period last year, and we expect that to increase still further as the economic impact of the pandemic unfolds.  We rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations like Rotary to ensure that those in crisis in our community don’t go hungry.”

In 2019 YMCA Burton alone supported 3030 people with vital food supplies and toiletries. “Shockingly,” says Paul, “741 of those were under the age of eighteen.  We see a marked increase in demand in school holidays when children often go hungry with the loss of school meals. The same has been the case while schools have been closed during lockdown. The Rotary Club support couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The YMCA foodbank requires no referral before people can access supplies.  Many of the people it now serves are in work but reduced hours or furloughed, which mean they simply can’t make ends meet.

Rotary4foodbanks uses money donated by clubs, supporters and from the foodbanks themselves, and applies its buying expertise to source food for foodbanks at prices they could not achieve. It also elicits donations from food processing companies. The scheme is supported by regional transport and logistics companies which provide staff and transport free of charge to ensure supplies get to where they are most needed. 

Derby club steps up to the plate

It was when lockdown stopped Rotarians holding their regular meetings that the 27 members of Mercia Club in Derby took the initiative to help.  Alan Mason, secretary of Rotary Club of Derby Mercia, explains:

“Rotary Clubs exist to do charity work in the community and beyond.  When we couldn’t meet, members agree to pool the money we would have each spent attending our regular evening meetings and feed it into the Rotary4foodbanks project.  Very quickly we raised £2000 and were delighted to see it turned into food and supplies to help local foodbanks in Derby and Burton.

“Like other clubs in the region we plan to continue working through the Rotary4foodbanks initiative to ensure that the money we give stretches further to help the most needy.”

Problem will get worse

Paul Laffey believes that demand for the foodbank services will increase as recession bites. “We already have a team of ten brilliant new volunteers staffing the foodbank, and the generosity of the community and the likes of Rotary has been superb,” he says. “Additionally, we are now looking to secure further funding to employ a foodbank co-ordinator to ensure that we can keep up with demand.”

Rotary too is gearing up to provide more support for foodbanks across the region and beyond. While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, the plan is to roll it out more broadly.  “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks elsewhere in the country.  In the North East especially, Rotarians are looking to utilise the scheme to help meet that demand,” says the scheme’s co-ordinator, John Cavey.

Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally.  “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public and businesses to see us through.”

Anyone wanting to help in the Rotary4foodbanks programme – or foodbanks requiring support – can contact John Cavey at rotaryfoundation1220@gmail.com or Tel: 07855 299443

Support the Rotary4foodbanks scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page

Anyone wanting to support the work of Burton YMCA foodbank can contact Paul Laffey on 01283 547211.

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks

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AQUABOX Responds To Cyclone Amphan

AQUABOX, Rotary District 1220’s own disaster relief charity, has managed a rapid response to the Amphan storm in the Bay of Bengal – despite the charity having been shut down since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From Saturday May 16 to Thursday May 21, Amphan – officially graded as a Super Cyclonic Storm – ripped into the coastal areas on the Bay of Bengal. It was the worst cyclone for the past 20 years, with sustained wind speeds of 150 mph and a peak of 160 mph, and it has resulted in massive damage.

Government sources in the area report that millions of acres of crops have been destroyed due to salt-water flooding, and that more than 200,000 farmers have lost their livelihoods, their homes and belongings. In total, millions of people’s lives have been devastated. On top of that, Covid-19 is already in the area, and although relief camps have been set up, social distancing is impossible.

Mercifully, the death toll from Amphan is low, but with severely limited access to safe water for drinking, personal hygiene, and preparing food, it is likely that many more will suffer and possibly die. That’s where Aquabox steps in, with the Aquafilter – a simple, robust hand-pumped unit which converts polluted water to safe, clean water, and which needs no power source and only minimal maintenance.

Aquabox, which was founded by the Rotary Club of Wirksworth nearly 30 years ago, has shipped two substantial aid packages to Kolkata for local distribution in the cyclone area. The first shipment, by air, left the Aquabox depot in Wirksworth, Derbyshire on June 3 and included 10 community water filters and 60 family filters. At a conservative estimate, the 70 filters will provide clean water for around 4,500 people. The second shipment, by sea, will leave the depot on June 9, and includes 250 Aquabox Gold boxes, each containing a wide range of aid items (shelter building materials, food preparation items and hygiene products) as well as a family water filter. This second shipment will provide access to safe drinking water for a further 1,500 people.

All of this has been achieved despite the current lockdown, because the charity had built up a stock of aid ready to distribute before the lockdown started. Local distribution at Kolkata will be managed through the Eastern Indian Rotary Welfare Trust, a tried and tested partner agency.

Freight costs have risen sharply as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and in total, these two shipments have cost Aquabox £42,000. That has made a significant dent in the charity’s reserves, at the start of the hurricane season – past experience has shown that there will almost certainly be more demand for Aquabox’s water filters and humanitarian aid boxes before long.

Readers can help to fund Aquabox’s vital work by donating at www.aquabox.org. For more information contact Roz Adamson – roflyn.adamson@sky.com

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Taylors Transport is Driving Force behind Rotary4Foodbanks

Why wouldn’t you help out when you see people in need?

Alan Taylor, Taylors Transport

A new foodbank delivery scheme which will see over one hundred and fifty thousand food items reach people in need in the next eight weeks is up and running, thanks to Rotarians and the drive and generosity of East Midlands Chamber member – international haulage firm Taylors Transport.

The scheme – Rotary4foodbanks – is being led by Rotary Clubs in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire and is already delivering much needed supplies to foodbanks in the area, with the help of MD Alan Taylor and his team.

Explains Rotary’s co-ordinator John Cavey: “We could see a huge and growing need for foodbank provision in our area.   As a leading UK charity organisation Rotary is committed to helping meet that need. From our own charity funds we have already allocated £35,000 to buy goods wholesale.  Our plan is to extend that with another £60,000 by the end of July.  By then we hope many more businesses will see the benefit in what we are doing for some of the country’s most needy and become supporters of the scheme.”

Foodbank use is on the increase as people lose their jobs because of the virus, and that situation is only going to get worse in the coming months. Year on year foodbanks saw an 81 percent increase in demand for emergency food at the end of March.  The situation will probably only get worse as thousands of people lose their jobs or face pay cuts, which means they simply cannot afford to eat. This comes at a time when food banks are already stretched to the limit – in 2019 they supplied 1,808,949 emergency food supplies, a year on year increase of 20 per cent.

But, explains John, without warehousing and an effective distribution network, Rotary4foodbanks would not be able to operate on the scale that is needed to meet that growing demand. That’s where local businessman and long-time Rotarian, Alan Taylor, stepped in.

Despite his own business feeling the strain imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic – Taylors has furloughed around 50% of its 200 vehicles and 300 staff – Alan agreed to set aside around 2000sq ft of warehousing space and allocate existing staff to sort stock for distribution.

“Why wouldn’t you help when you see people in need?” he says. “Even though we work internationally we have always been rooted in the East Midlands and it is only right to give back to the community in which you are based.  It is a philosophy which runs right through to the heart of the business.”

Already, Taylors is making deliveries for the NHS and helping with the Daily Mail’s Mail Force PPE scheme. Now their vehicles are taking Rotary Club food supplies free of charge to foodbanks across the region as far east as Grantham and as far north as Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Says John Cavey: “The team at Taylors typifies all that is good about British business and its willingness to dig in and help the most vulnerable in the community.  Now we are hoping that other businesses will support our initiative, with cash and goods donations to make sure that no family falls through the net when it comes to having enough food to eat.”

While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, John and his team are looking to roll it out more broadly.  “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks in the North East especially, where Rotarians are looking to utilise the Rotary4foodbanks scheme to help meet that demand.”

Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally.  “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public, and businesses like Alan’s, to see us through.”

Anyone wanting to help in the programme – or foodbanks requiring Rotary4foodbanks – support can contact John Cavey at rotaryfoundation1220@gmail.com or Tel: 07855 299443

Support the Rotary4foodbanks scheme by sharing this article and donating on our Just Giving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks

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