Pett WI Community Aid (WICAID) Update from Hilary Dymott, Appeal Coordinator 

Over the last few weeks, Rye Food Bank has had to rationalise their stock management and warehousing in order to comply with new safety precautions to ensure that all donations are quarantined for 3 days before distribution and also to reduce the amount that anyone handles.

Since we started our Appeal last July we had – until January – been making weekly deliveries not only from our collection boxes, but also from shopping for additional specific items bought out of financial donations.

Pett WI seems to have become one of the RFB’s largest regular donors, so we’ve been liaising regarding the best way we can help them within these new requirements.  As a result, we’ve agreed that, whilst our collection boxes continue in the same way, the WICAID Team will no longer do any shopping.

Our routine has changed slightly in that only 2 of us now go over with our deliveries at a pre-agreed time slot – and, as the Food Bank Team can no longer help us unpack, we have to put all our donations into crates for them at the door ready to be weighed – and then take home all of our packaging.

I’m delighted to say, however, that none of this has impacted on us very greatly and we’ve been able to make deliveries each week through January.

At our December Pett WI Zoom meeting I reported that we’d sent 4,830 items to RFB since July last year.

Including the delivery made on Wednesday 20 January, this figure now stands at a terrific 6,368 – 732 of which have been taken this month – a remarkable result considering lock-down, the weather and some of our regular donors have now switched to financial donations!

Talking of which, we’re incredibly fortunate to continue to receive generous financial donations, not only through the Pett WI membership of course, but from our local communities too.

We were especially thrilled before Christmas to receive (completely out of the blue) a cheque for £500 from locals Kit and Janet McLean. This came from money raised through admission charges collected on the gate from cars entering their Elm Tree Boot Sale, all of which, I believe, they give to different local charities.

As a result of this, and other financial donations received to the end of December, we were able to send £1,255.26 to RFB this week.

The Food Bank Team continue to tell us how very much our donations are appreciated – and they’re constantly amazed at what we achieve for them.

From the latest information available our help still seems to be very much needed, as I understand that the numbers that they are helping continue to grow.

Early January figures were 78 adults and 94 children with deliveries to 25 households in Rye and surrounding villages – to people that can’t get to the food bank because of illness, disability or needing to care for others.

Apparently Rye Food Bank are distributing around 2 tonnes of food each week and the heavy work is considerable as they handle and move deliveries and donations. These are often large and heavy boxes of tins – so a call went out this month for additional fit and strong volunteers!

With limited storage space available, the Food Bank don’t always require all of the donations we receive, so the WICAID Team separates sanitary products, nappies, toiletries and a few other bits and pieces to pass on to the other organisations that we support.  As a result, this month around 235 items were also delivered to Dom’s Food Mission who distribute to local hostels etc.

So, yet again, we’ve certainly proved that a little kindness goes a long way and I’d just like to take the opportunity to say a huge thanks, as always, not only to my wonderful WICAID Team colleagues, but also to everyone that has – and continues – to support this Appeal.

 

A reminder, if anyone needs assistance from the Food Bank to please make contact with Rother District Citizens Advice & Representation Centre (HARC) on 0333 3440681 or email  and they will be happy to help.

 

If you would like to drop off a donation, our collection boxes are currently around Pett and Fairlight at:

  • Pett Village Hall (Lobby)
  • The Old Butcher’s Shop – Pett
  • 1 Arthur’s Close, Pett Road, Pett
  • “Nanini Tal”, Cliff End Lane, Pett Level
  • Fairlight Post Office & Stores
  • Wakehams Farm Shop, Fairlight
  • The Barn, Shepherd’s Way, Fairlight
  • The Firehills Cottage, Channel Way, Fairlight

 

Alternatively, financial donations can either be made by cheque (made payable to Pett WI) and sent to Jane Sweaney at “Oakhurst”, Pett Road, Pett, TN35 4HG or made directly into the Pett WI Bank Account – Lloyds Bank – Sort Code: 30-98-97 – Account No: 70587368 – with the reference for both as “Food Bank” please.