A foodbank in Ashford has set up a Coronavirus fund to support those in need during this difficult time.
Donations from across Ashford have come in to Ashford Vineyard’s Compassion foodbank in response to their new Covid-19 fund. The project expanded their foodbank to allow extra support for those going through difficulties during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ashford Vineyard Compassion have received donations of fresh fruit and veg from businesses such as Waitrose and popcorn from the Picturehouse cinema, as well as boxed meals from Vineyard ‘Mummy’s Meals’ volunteers and other donations from kind-hearted individuals in the community.
Volunteer Chris Tatton told the Canterbury Hub “We have seen over 250 different families across Ashford since the beginning of the lockdown period, which is a large increase on the number we would normally see on a weekly basis.”
In response to the generosity, a spokesperson wrote on Facebook to thank those who have helped with setting up the fund so far.
Members of the community including volunteer Karen Thatcher, known as @Thatchcreative on instagram, are collectively helping to create bundles including Thatch’s thoughtful ‘encouragement cards’ (shown above) for those receiving food packages.
Speaking about her involvement, she said: “I know Ashford Vineyard’s heart so well, I know its DNA, and that it’s always a place of love and compassion and so making the cards to go in the food parcels was always going to reflect that.
“I really hope that every single person and family who receives their parcel and sees the card inside knows that they are so loved, by people they may not even know, that they are not alone and that there is hope in the midst of chaos!”
An Ashford resident who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid stigma said: “I don’t know when my next pay check will be, I have used the community ‘Fareshare’ fridge in the past and thankfully I have the support of my family. However, knowing that there are places that could help people in similar situations like Ashford Vineyard Compassion gives me hope.”
Ashford Vineyard Compassion set up the Covid-19 fund last month and have sent out approximately 360 food parcels so far, to help combat the increasing financial struggle that the Coronavirus is exacerbating in and around Ashford.
Chris Tatton also said “We have raised over £7000 and have seen grants come in from Ashford Borough Council, KCC and some other organisations on top of that to help fund the work we are doing.
“We are looking to help families who are affected in the long term by helping them break the cycles of poverty and strengthen relationships within families. The response fund will go a long way to doing that, beyond the food bank itself.”
If you would like to donate to help their Covid-19 fund continue to provide those in need, click here.
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With the current crisis and social distancing, the Compassion project team have also been reaching out to spread hope and much needed company to those in the community, bringing people together through virtual chats over coffee in the online ‘Compassion Cafe’.
Other people in the Ashford community have also been going above and beyond to provide food for those in need. The Everest Inn in Ashford provided 65 free meals for the Willow Centre on Tuesday to distribute to the local community, as well as containers to help portion the food.
Ashford Borough Council have also set up the ‘Ashford Response Depot’ also delivering food parcels for people in the local community.
To understand more about what foodbanks are and who can use them, read our other article here!