As we move into what has traditionally been a time of Harvest Thanksgiving, when we often think of helping those less fortunate than themselves, it is a good time to reflect on what has been a year of incredible growth for ReadiFood, Reading’s food bank.
The need for emergency food parcels to help people in financial crisis has sadly rocketed during 2013. This seems to have been brought about by a lethal combination of changes in Government policy aimed at reducing public expenditure; more regular use of sanctions and review of people’s benefits; removal of crisis loans; and of course rising food, fuel and housing costs.
For the food banks, this has required a huge raising of their game in order to supply what is currently – in Reading – about 110 parcels per week to families and individuals.
That equates to almost £5,000 worth of food every month. Public donations of food through regular monthly collections at local Waitrose stores really helps with this, as has a recent weekend at the two large Tesco stores in Reading. However that involves a lot of hard work by staff and a team of dedicated volunteers.
Can you help with supermarket food collections?
October – Thursday 17, Friday 18
November – Saturday 16, Sunday 17
December – Saturday 7, Sunday 8, Sat 14, Sun 15.
Other volunteering opportunities
ReadiFood also needs regular volunteers to help with food sorting, parcel packing and deliveries during the day. This is rewarding work for anyone, especially if you are retired and looking for something to do that will really help the community. For details, call Alison on (0118) 987 2672.
For more, visit www.readifood.org.uk.