The Wokingham Paper

Shinfield Baptist Church launches pop-up foodbank for families

SHINFIELD BAPTIST Church has set up a pop-up foodbank to support families in need during the pandemic.

The church is collecting donations from the community including food, nappies, shoes and other essential items that may be required.

Sallyann Hunt, associate pastor of Shinfield Baptist Church, said: “There are some families that we deal with that have very specific needs, whether that be nappies or anything else.

“We have a team of local volunteers who help us to drop off the food parcels to individual families.

“Every week, one of the volunteers takes a huge car load of what we’ve collected to one of the two food banks and they are very grateful because I believe their donations have really dropped.

“I’ve been blown away by the generosity of people donating things, it’s been incredible. It’s really positive. People really want to do something to help.

“We help out around 25 households. And then we have roughly 20 bags of food items that get donated to the foodbank each week.”

The Church only set up the foodbank a few months ago, as the coronavirus began to take hold in the UK.

“We call it the pop-up foodbank; it wasn’t in existence until this season we are in,” added Ms Hunt.

“In our village there is a lady who came to our toddler group who runs a national group called Helping Hand which is all over the country.

“They provide things such as school shoes for families — people post what they need and then others can respond with specific items to send to help struggling families.

“We joined together with her because there were a number of families that needed help with food. We decided to set up a pop-up foodbank.

“We come in every day to the church, we have our welcome flag outside and a box on the doorstep and have communicated through Facebook to the local community.

“People have been incredible. They’ve donated amazing amounts of food, nappies, and washing powder.

“The best thing for people to do if they want to donate is to regularly check the website. They put on what is needed, so that changes fairly regularly.”

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