What a fantastic effort by the community. That was overwhelming feeling from groups and organisations who joined forces to give Tendring’s well-used food banks a much-needed boost.
Volunteers manned a special Food Donation Day at the Sainsbury’s store in High Street, Clacton, from 10am to 7pm on Friday.
There was a constant stream of people who donated non-perishable goods throughout the day and the trolleys of food mounted up by the hour.
Some came along just to buy supplies while others did their own weekly shop and then went back down the aisles to buy items for the food banks.
There were also others who did not have the time to do a shop themselves but put cash in a collecting box for the food to be bought later. And some turned up with food they had collected.
When everything was added up at the end of the event the value of the stock donated came to £1,105.51.
The initiative was put on by Tendring District Council (TDC), Citizens Advice Bureau, Sainsbury’s and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service with support from the Clacton and Frinton and Walton Gazettes.
Lynda McWilliams, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Partnerships said the day exceeded all expectations.
“Wow! It was simply a fantastic effort and we cannot thank everyone who turned up enough for their generosity,” she said.
“It was truly incredible and people were happy to donate supplies for more vulnerable members of our community who are struggling to put food on the table.
“It really goes to show the fantastic community spirit there is in Tendring and that people do really care about others.”
The whole aim of the initiative was to raise awareness about the various food banks operating around the Tendring District and encourage people to give what they could to help others less fortunate.
A sum of £200 had been raised in a raffle by TDC staff from the Life Opportunities Department at Christmas and the aim was to double the amount. It was soon clear that the target would be reached in a couple of hours.
A “shopping list” of tinned or long life food was displayed in Sainsbury’s to advise people what they could buy to donate.
Diane Boyd, Tendring’s Community Builder, said that plenty of volunteers turned out to help.
“It really was a team effort and everybody was genuinely touched by the response from the public,” she said.
“It will be a massive boost for our food banks around Tendring which are struggling with dwindling stocks, so great is the demand.”