A festive family fun day with a difference is coming to Reading this Saturday – it’ll raise vital funds for the town’s food bank.
The Family Fun Day at Argyle Community Church on Saturday, December 6, aims to combine fun with an opportunity to find out more about the causes and consequences of food poverty while collecting non-perishable food items to support ReadiFood, which delivers emergency food parcels to families and individuals across Reading.
Members of the public will be invited to bring along a tin of food and enjoy indoor games, craft stalls, dance demonstrations and refreshments.
It all takes place at Argyle’s base in Argyle Road in West Reading from 10.30am to 1pm.
It’s organised by Reading volunteering group Team v, who are campaigning to raise awareness about the realities facing people in food poverty, exploring the causes and consequences and galvanising the public to support food aid initiatives.
They recently helped with the Foodbank food collection in Tesco stores and they are part of a national network of young volunteers run by youth charity vInspired. It focuses on helping young people help themselves and others through volunteering and social action. It also provides under 25s with volunteering and social action opportunities to improve their life skills and employability.
Since 2011, the number of people using foodbanks has gone up 610%, from just over 128,000 to nearly 1 million in three years. A growing number of people are going hungry and being forced to rely on foodbanks to feed their families. A major factor contributing to this increase is that people’s incomes are staying the same whilst living costs are going up and changes to benefits have also made a big impact.
Sarah Leigh, Team v leader for Reading, said: “This campaign has opened my eyes to the extent of food poverty in the UK. Working with ReadiFood has shown me how many people are affected in our area and how vital their services are. I hope that this event will encourage people to support their local foodbank or even inspire those who might be in a difficult situation to seek help.
Alison Peyton, from ReadiFood, said: “ReadiFood provide between 100-120 parcels a week. It takes a weight off peoples’ minds and it gives them strength to cope with other things.
“A woman came into the foodbank recently and when she saw me give her little boy a box of cereal, she just burst into tears because she didn’t know otherwise how they were going to have any food all weekend. It’s shocking to think that’s how we live in 2014.
“Donating food is a very simple way to help people and they really appreciate it.”