Newark Foodbank gets almost 100 large trolleys full of food from Travellers
Volunteers at Newark Foodbank say they are overwhelmed after receiving thousands of pounds worth of donations from the town’s Traveller community.
Almost 100 large trolleys full of food have been given in just over a week after a social media challenge caught on.
The challenge, started by a Traveller in County Durham, urged fellow Travellers to film themselves filling a trolley with donations for food banks.
Newark Foodbank has been collecting laden trolleys from the town’s Asda and Morrisons supermarkets, and has described the surge in donations as overwhelming.
Fundraising manager Jenni Harding said: “It is a Christmas miracle and we are so grateful to the Traveller community for the enormous amount of food.
The run-up to Christmas and the New Year is normally the foodbank’s busiest time, both for receiving and distributing food, but Jenni said the donations in the last week had dwarfed what was usually received.
“It is the busiest we have ever been, and we have been open since 2012.”
Asda has been given about £3,000-worth of food and toiletries, and community champion Sinead Hinch said: “It is mainly the Travelling community although we have colleagues and customers who donate to the foodbank throughout the year, so we of course are also very grateful for their donations too.
“Colleagues have been amazing helping sort out the trolleys, getting everything boxed up and bringing trolleys up and down stairs.
“Asda has been fantastic allowing everything to be stored. We have not and will not turn any donation away no matter how large or small it is.”
Jenni Harding said the Newark Foodbank warehouse in Balderton was so full that it had been able to distribute some of the donated goods to centres in other nearby towns.
“Our warehouse is now bursting so we have got enough to last us for a few months, which is wonderful, but we still need donations for the future.”
“The people of Newark have been so generous. We are overwhelmed.”
She said the charity’s head trustee, Steve Charnock, had done a sterling job driving a van to collect and distribute donations.
The Newark Foodbank is open at Barnbygate Methodist Church in Newark on Tuesdays from 3pm to 5pm and on Fridays from 1pm to 3pm.
It works with local agencies, including Citizens’ Advice, who can issue foodbank vouchers to those in need. People are also welcome to drop in for a hot drink and advice.