Foodbank A-team is ready for action
8:00pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in Latest News
THERE is a strong sense of comradeship between the volunteers who spend two hours a week preparing the parcels for Swindon Foodbank.
Bob Griffin has worked for three years, off and on, at the Foodbank’s warehouse in Westlea arranging the donations into bags to go out to clients.
He normally clocks on at 10am and works with a team of about a dozen people until noon. Over the years he said the volunteers build a close relationship while weighing food, separating it into categories and bagging it up.
“It’s a good laugh,” said Bob, who is 68. “You get to know one another, especially the regulars. People come and go but there is a real sense of community. There are a few people who have been coming here for years.”
He first became involved with the charity, which helps poorer residents by providing them with emergency food during a time of crisis, when he retired and he decided he wanted to support a worthwhile cause.
Bob, of Woodhall Park, works every Thursday with what he calls the A-Team.
“There is a really good group of people here,” said Bob, who explained that, once the food is ready, it is placed in supermarket bags.
“When people collect them they can walk out with their Sainsbury’s bags or whatever and no one in the street will know they have been to us,” said Bob. “It looks like they have been doing shopping like everyone else.”
Lines of tall metal shelves fill the warehouse, with each layer containing a different selection of food – from pasta bake meals to coffee and cans of tomatoes.
“It’s a worthwhile cause but it shouldn’t be needed in this country,” said Bob. “It’s good to be helping people but I don’t think it should be happening.
“ It’s the big corporations, the electricity companies putting up their prices – that shouldn’t be allowed. “Each year the demand for the Foodbank has grown and grown.”
The organisation has been experiencing an all time high in terms of demand. Organisers expect the number of people using its emergency service to increase by 40 per cent in the new year.
The charity relies on donations and hosts a number of fundraising events throughout the year. A Swindon Foodbank Hoedown will take place on Saturday, October 5 where partygoers will be able to enjoy live music, a hog roast and a silent auction.
For more information visit www.swindonfoodbank.co.uk.
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