2nd December 2019
The LGA Foundation has launched an appeal to gather collections for the hundreds of children who will use the Newcastle West End Foodbank this Christmas.
The Foundation has funded a support van to help the foodbank collect more of the essential items needed to see its users through its busiest time of year.
Businesses, organisations and schools are invited to join a network of ‘donation stations’ across the city where people can drop-off food and other items for collection, including special “extras” that could bring a smile to the faces of young people.
In the last year, 38,000 people were fed by food parcels issued by the foodbank – half of them children.
Increased demand has already started to build and reaches its highest levels in December, January and February, when 14.5 tonnes of food is needed each month to feed an average of 1,285 people.
Last Christmas, the team had to drive as far as Harrow, near London to collect surplus supplies from other foodbanks as they struggled to meet demand. This year, they hope that with support from the local community they can generate ample donations of food needed to ensure that no one will go hungry this winter.
Sue Reece said: “We are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the Newcastle West End Foodbank and hope our contribution will help those in need over Christmas and in the difficult months that follow.
“We are urging as many people and businesses as possible to set up donation stations and give what they can, as every item will make a difference.”
John and Sue first gave their support to the foodbank in 2015 with a donation of £60,000 that enabled the rapidly expanding charity to continue providing its lifeline services.
As well as funding the purchase of its first delivery van, they rallied business support to revamp the Lilia Centre in Benwell, which serves up hot meals every week.
LGA Foundation has also donated an addi
tional £15,000 to support the foodbank’s other projects including Pathways Out of Hunger, which provides a ‘triage’ team of experts who aim to help individuals and families out of crisis.
John McCorry, chief executive, Newcastle West End Foodbank, said: “Often donations in the post-Christmas months can fall to around half of what is required by the end of February. The challenge is therefore to build-up as many supply and donation streams as we can in the next couple of months.
“Logistically this can be difficult as our van is already in constant use, therefore this additional van will allow us to maximise additional donations and collections.
“Support from businesses, such as setting up donation stations and staff volunteering their time, skills and expertise, makes a real difference to the services we can provide.”
The van’s first stop was to deliver donation boxes to Benton gym, Sound Mind and Body, which is joining the LGA Foundation in backing the Christmas campaign. Advent calendars, selection boxes, mince pies and Christmas puddings are already flooding in, alongside the essential food and toiletries needed for the food parcels.
Dominic Bowser, head trainer, Sound, Mind and Body, added: “Our clients have already started to give generously, and we hope the local community will also get involved and bring in essential supplies for the van to collect when it returns next month.”
How can you help?
- Bring in donations to the gym on Front Street, Benton, NE7 7XE, until December 20.
- Set up a ‘donation station’ by contacting Gemma Whaley, warehouse and logistics manager, Newcastle West End Foodbank, on 0191 275 3019/ 07525783886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make a cash donation to the LGA Foundation’s Newcastle West End Foodbank’s Christmas Appeal by visiting: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=LGAFoundationChristmasAppeal&pageUrl=2
- Donate food for Christmas meals served at the West End Food Bank, Lilia Centre, 331 Benwell Lane, NE15 6LX from 3rd December onwards. Please arrange delivery on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9am and 4pm. They need: turkey crowns, ham, chipolatas, vegetables, butter, cheese and eggs.
- Tinned Veg
- Tinned Fruit
- UHT milk/custard
- Tinned rice pudding
- Toiletries / shower Gels
- Children’s /Baby products
- Christmas cakes /puddings
- Ginger biscuits
- mince pies
- Christmas sweets
- Hot chocolate
- Selection boxes
- Christmas decorations