At the beginning of the year a branch of the Stamford Foodbank, supported by the Trussell Trust, opened in Oundle. This food bank is coordinated by Oundle residents David Hardwick and Peter Lewis who is supported by a team of 20 volunteers, who work in weekly shifts of four people.
Oundle Carpet Weavers kindly provides a van and driver to collect food donated by shoppers in drop-off bins at Waitrose and the Co-op, and transports it to the Food Bank headquarters in Stamford. Volunteers then pick up the week’s food allocation and bring it to the Oundle Methodist Church for distribution every Tuesday from 2 – 3:00pm.
Volunteer Alison Vincent said: ‘We know there are vulnerable people here and in surrounding villages. All it takes is a job loss or a huge bill, and suddenly they need some emergency supplies. We’re here to provide support to help a situation from worsening.’
Clients need to have received a voucher from one of the centres where their needs are professionally assessed, such as a job centre, doctor’s surgery, a local church or charity such as Volunteer Action.
The food bank provides three days’ worth of food supplies for a family, and up to a maximum of three distributions to the same family over a period of time.
Volunteer John Hewitson said: ‘The aim is to provide short-term relief in an emergency. The principle is that whatever the emergency was, should have been solved’.
The Oundle volunteers ensure that a store cupboard of supplies is kept stocked and supplemented every week. When a food box is assembled, they pack a range of food that will provide a balanced diet. The volunteers also can provide information about where clients can go for advice or assistance with debt relief, counselling, physical therapy or legal help.
The Oundle Food Bank, aims to support local people in crisis, giving advice and immediate help to get people back on their feet.