Letter: Rochdale – you have done us proud
Date published: 04 January 2018
Rochdale Foodbank volunteers
It is not easy to explain how the Foodbank really works.
It is so simple in one way, but it is also a place where people from very different backgrounds and cultures can sit together and share an experience of friendship and welcome as equals; it is also a place where the foodbank volunteers are the conduit of love and generosity from some good people of Rochdale who continue to donate huge amounts of food, and other good people of Rochdale who find themselves in a bit of a fix, where that same food takes some pressure off their situation, and gives them, and the agencies helping them, a breathing space to get things sorted out.
In the last 12 months, in fact for the last five years, these patterns have been repeated every week day – last year you helped around 3,500 families with the food (or money) you gave.
To be honest, we thought the novelty of food banks might wear off (not the need which is constant) but the desire and enthusiasm to keep giving and keep giving.
We are in awe of you, through the Harvest and then the month of December, you have overwhelmed us with your kindness and generosity.
Words fail us.
We will not bore you with numbers, just so you know that everyone of those 3,500 families is a human story, often poignant, often with no easy answers, and we who work as volunteers in Rochdale Foodbank are able to look those people in the eye and, with the evidence of bags of great food next to them, assure them that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
As we enter into 2018, which will bring its own struggles and challenges for us at the foodbank, we are still looking to improve what we offer to the town.
We are now offering debt counselling -closely linked to food poverty - and we hope to offer chilled products like margarine, etc in the near future to give our clients a more normal shopping experience, not just tins and packets.
A simple message at the start of 2018 to all the wonderful people of Rochdale – thank you.
From all the Foodbank volunteers
On behalf of all the clients who have benefitted
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.