Rochdale Foodbank marks seven years of helping those in need

Date published: 03 November 2019

Rochdale Foodbank will mark seven years of operation over the first week of November.

Set up in 2012 by Iain and Margaret Wight, the foodbank operates on a voucher system, provided by over 130 agencies in Rochdale who have identified people in crisis, who may struggle to buy food.

The voucher is honoured like a cheque, in exchange for three-days’ worth of goods.

Last year, more than 6,600 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis at Rochdale Foodbank, providing more than 2,200 children with provisions.

Martin Coupe, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Rochdale Foodbank, said: “It is just over six months since our founders, Iain and Margaret, decided to retire from their work here and we are extremely grateful for the strong foundations that they built.

“The demands on our foodbank continue unabated; we serve on average nearly 100 clients each week and food donations from the generous people of Rochdale continue to arrive. Over the summer we had to buy in considerable amounts of food to top up our supplies, no easy task requiring money, manpower and transport to get purchases to South Parade.

“Now of course we welcome the many generous harvest donations from schools and churches.”

Typically receiving most donations during harvest and at Christmas, the donations received by the foodbank must last all year so there is enough to go around.

Mr Coupe continued: “Our focus remains to provide emergency food and a welcoming ear to those in need. Clearly we could not do this without the invaluable support of our volunteers, and also the huge assistance of all our agencies and our partner churches and schools.

“I pay tribute and give thanks to everyone who contributes to helping our clients in times of distress. The team leaders and all the staff do a wonderful job in pulling everything together to maintain this unique voluntary service. The trustees never fail to recognise all the hard work and energy of our volunteers to whom we say a big thank you.”

Founder of the foodbank, Iain Wight said: “Margaret and I consider it a great honour to have been influential in the formation of the Rochdale Foodbank, but we were just catalysts to unleash the energy of a genuinely caring community.

“The thousands of people in crisis fed as a result over the past seven years shows the depth of that care, and from the legions of anonymous donors of food to the indefatigable volunteers we salute you all.”

Emma Revie, National Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, added: “While birthdays are usually a celebration, it’s not right that anyone in the UK should need to use a foodbank. But what we do need to celebrate is the passion and dedication of the volunteers and local community in Rochdale coming together and working tirelessly to ensure that people can access emergency food and compassionate, practical support.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the Rochdale Foodbank, past and present, for responding to their local community need in such a dignified manner and thank them for standing with us and everyone affected by poverty in our communities, in our fight to end the need for foodbanks.”

Donations for Rochdale Foodbank can be made at:

  • Tesco, Silk Street, Sudden, Rochdale, OL11 3ER 
  • All of the borough’s libraries
  • Many of the borough’s churches
  • Co-op stores at Cutgate, Littleborough and Milnrow

At the back of Rochdale Foodbank on South Parade, Rochdale, OL16 1LR - Opening hours are 11.00am – 12:45pm Monday to Friday. A member of staff will greet you and make sure your donation is safely booked in.

Food can be collected by contacting Dave Hill: 07922 658346.

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