Bishop's Stortford Food Bank urges supporters to help other charities too
Bishop's Stortford Food Bank is appealing to supporters to help other charities in the town after donations secured its own financial future.
Trustees of the cause, which operates from the Methodist Church in South Street, paid tribute to the generosity of those who have helped it cope with a tripling in demand for help during the coronavirus lockdown.
But rather than stockpile money, they are ready to return a £2,500 grant from the Brazier Trust, a £1,000 grant from Stort Valley Rotary Club has been diverted and they are asking donors to support other worthy organisations which have struggled to fundraise during the pandemic.
The food bank's costs soared by 633% from March. Before the coronavirus crisis, the charity needed £207 a week to supply 12 boxes of provisions to the town's most deprived people. Now it is helping more than 30 individuals or families in need and its weekly bill has rocketed to £1,518.
Bill MacDonald, chairman of the food bank, wrote to the Indie saying: "Our crisis is over for the moment, as is our need for donations of money for the time being. So, people of Stortford, thank you again for your support. We'd love you to keep the food rolling into us, but also maybe think about the other local charities that might need your help in these difficult times."
He explained that its application to Bishop's Stortford Town Council for Brazier Trust cash was made in April when the charity was "really struggling". He said: "Our donations had dried up and we were having to use our funds to buy food as we saw demand rising dramatically."
But, he said, that situation was turned around by a generous community so that the budget deficit was filled before the Brazier Trust considered the grant application at the end of June.
Peter Latham, of Stort Valley Rotary, said: "We stand ready to support those in need locally. The food bank is a close friend of Stort Valley Rotary following our involvement in getting it off the ground and we were delighted to read the letter from their chairman saying how well they are doing. In the light of the chairman's letter, we will hold, for directing elsewhere, the £1,000 we had earmarked for the food bank."