Youngsters present food bank with donation from school’s harvest festival

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Primary school pupils have helped to replenish stocks at a food bank in Ipswich ahead of the Christmas rush.

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

School council members from Rose Hill Primary School paid a visit to the Families in Need (FIND) food bank and learned how their donation, from the school's harvest collection, will help communities in need.

The food bank's director, Maureen Reynel MBE, showed the youngsters around alongside volunteers and said the food they have provided will help boost stocks ready for Christmas.

The charity need to send out 1,000 parcels specifically for the big day, on top of the 3,300 packages they have already provided throughout 2017.

Fiona Hunt, who co-ordinates the school council at Rose Hill Primary, said: "The school council decided they wanted to do a food donation and we were overwhelmed with the amount of support and generosity of the parents. The children really enjoyed seeing how the food would help the local community.

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"They asked some good questions and took a real interest in the food bank. It's something we hope to repeat next year."

Mrs Reynel said it is the generosity of schools, the general public and businesses that keeps the food bank running.

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"It was lovely for the pupils to come down," she said.

"We had the youngsters who represent the school council have a look around and they wanted to know about how the food bank works. We explained to them what happens to the food and all of the processes we have to go through to make the parcels.

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"They were so well behaved and really interested to see how their harvest helps us."

She added: "They have helped to top up the stock which goes into the Christmas food parcels.

"We have 1,000 of them to make but we can't start work on them until all of the harvest packages are processed.

"So far this year we have given out 3,300 excluding the Christmas packages.

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Olivia Pettmen with some of the food. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"We know it is going to be exorbitantly expensive in terms of purchasing food as prices are going up and up.

"But the public are so generous and so are businesses, they have been amazing and we are so grateful for their help."

Donations can be made to FIND's main collection point based in Ipswich. Visit www.findipswich.org.uk for details.

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