The collection has run four to five times a year since 2020, with more and more community organisations, local sports teams, political parties and religious groups getting involved. Mark Perryman, Lewes Against Food Poverty pioneer, describes the collections as a “coalition against food poverty” which demonstrates the breadth of Lewes civil society.
Mark said: “It doesn't seem unreasonable or unrealistic to expect our society to be able to guarantee everyone can afford the essentials as a minimum. Until it can, food banks are quite literally for many of these households their lifeline. With February half-term starting Monday 12 February this will heap even more pressure on those households with school-age children. Our Winter collection couldn't be more important.”
People across Lewes came together to collect, including: Lewes bands, six Lewes sports clubs, three Lewes book groups, three Lewes Guardian letter-writers, three Lewes faith groups, three Lewes political parties, two Lewes bonfire societies, two Lewes choirs, Lewes climate hub, a squad of Lewes yoga instructors, a Lewes gym, Lewes Rotary club, a Lewes clinic, a Lewes cinema, Ringmer Guides group, a convoy of Lewes cyclists, a photographer and dozens of individual volunteers.
Because tinned meat was running out in the late afternoon in all three supermarkets, they are planning a trolley dash for tinned meat on Wednesday, February 14, with some money from Saturday which was put aside.
Mark said: "Please always consider tinned meat, it's the one item more than anything the food banks are the most short of.”
The collection was delivered to the Lewes Food banks: Fitzjohns, Landport, Malling, Lewes Community Fridge and Ringmer Village Food bank.