'Call to arms': Suffolk High Sheriff urges people to support £100,000 foodbank appeal
PUBLISHED: 19:00 29 September 2018
Suffolk's sheriff has called for more organisations to pledge their support to a £100,000 fundraising campaign for an Ipswich foodbank charity.
Families in Need (FIND) has launched an appeal to move into new, larger headquarters amid soaring demand for its services – with more than 5,000 food parcels sent out every year.
Over £25,000 has already been raised since the campaign launched in March but more businesses, individuals, schools and other organisations are needed to sign up and pledge to each raise £2,000.
Suffolk’s High Sheriff George Vestey is the latest supporter to throw his weight behind the campaign, which has been backed by the Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and BBC Radio Suffolk.
Mr Vestey said: “Life is very tough for many people in our communities and, in most cases, these are perfectly normal people with normal lives, but suddenly money runs short and they need a helping hand.
“The FIND 50 appeal is on track. They are getting support from employers but they need more.
“So this is a call to arms for more local employers to come and support FIND with financial donations and other forms of help such as volunteering.
“So employers – open your cheque books. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community.”
Mr Vestey visited the food bank in Felixstowe Road on Friday, September 7 and awarded them the High Sheriff’s Certificate of Recognition – an official recognition of appreciation.
Ipswich Borough Council has identified one of its sites for FIND and planning approval has already been granted.
It is hoped that work can start on converting the site in the next few months and many local building firms have already stepped up to give free consultancy or other services, including Castons, Barnes Construction, MLM Group, JSH Consulting and Hoopers Architects.
Maureen Reynel MBE, founder and board chairman of FIND, said: “We are hugely grateful for every donation and all the support we have received so far.
“We hope that more companies, schools and groups will come forward to help us reach our £100,000 target so we can continue providing support to individuals and families in desperate need.”
Mr Vestey added: “This is where FIND plays such an important role.
“It takes, so often, a wonderfully inspirational person like Maureen to lead an organisation and it’s been fantastic to see the absolute hub of activity with so many volunteers working so hard at the food bank.”
Donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries can be made to any local participating East of England Co-Op, Waitrose at Futura Park, and Sainsbury’s at Warren Heath.