Help wanted at Uckfield Foodbank

Volunteers for the Foodbank
Volunteers for the Foodbank

An Uckfield support group is asking people in and around the town whether they would be prepared to spare about 30 minutes once a month - or even two hours once a month - to support people in need.

Sharon Burt, project manager of the Uckfield Food Bank, said: “In the community of Uckfield nearly one quarter of households live in poverty.

“Uckfield Foodbank and more than 20 agencies work with clients who are experiencing problems with their income and finding it difficult to feed their families. The agencies work with the clients to help them to improve their situation so that they do not become dependent on the Foodbank.”

The Uckfield Foodbank provides each member of the household with enough nutritionally balanced food for three meals a day for three days. All food is donated by people in the community.

However, Sharon says the Foodbank cannot provide this service without help from volunteers.

She explained there are a number of volunteer opportunities and different interests and skills are needed to tackle the various jobs available. And she points out it really doesn’t matter how limited your time is - just half an hour a month is a good starting point and the Food Bank will be happy to hear from people who are considering getting in touch but are not yet sure about their commitment.

Sharon points out people’s different abilities could fit a variety of tasks. For example, someone with a welcoming, friendly, caring manner who would be happy to sit and chat with people and also unpack previously prepared boxes and place these items in carrier bags would be ideally suited to help out in the distribution centre.

If working in the warehouse would be more your sort of thing, then you’d need to be fairly well organised and systematic, able to check, weigh and sort food by date and type and follow a packing list to prepare food boxes.

Volunteers are also needed to collect food donations and make occasional deliveries. They would need to have their own vehicles and clearly have a valid driving licence. Their petrol expenses would be reimbursed.

Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Foodbanks provide three days’ emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. Rising food and fuel prices, static incomes, underemployment and changes to benefits are some reasons why more are being referred to foodbanks. If any of these opportunities interests you contact Sharon by ringing: 01825 745489 or email: admin@uckfield.foodbank.org.uk.