A CHARITY helping families in need has today thanked everyone who helped spread Christmas cheer to the vulnerable in Ipswich.

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FIND (Families in Need) distributed 1,040 food hampers to families and individuals in the town in the run up to the festive period.

Chairman Maureen Reynel said kind-hearted people across Ipswich donated more than 2,000 tins of baked beans, and similar amounts of soup, tinned meats and pasta.

She thanked the dozens of volunteers who unpacked the food as it arrived and packed each parcel to ensure it contained a balanced meal.

“In the run up to Christmas some of these parcels were delivered, and some collected – each going to a person who would otherwise have struggled to provide a reasonable meal during the festive season.

“While this special effort was being organised the day to day work of the food bank went on, providing food for those in urgent need.”

She added: “This Christmas has seen a wonderful example of community effort, with businesses and charities and individuals joining together to meet very basic needs.

“I am very grateful for all the help we received. So many lives have been touched by the generosity shown.

“Sadly though, it looks as though 2013 will present us with even greater challenges.”

Mrs Reynel thanked all those involved, whether it was providing food, packing food parcels or distributing them. She also thanked Pentalver, Portablespace, the Co-op and Waitrose, Legal and General, Barclays and the Rotary Club of Ipswich, Ipswich Round Table, Sackers and The Suffolk Foundation.

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