STOWMARKET Foodbank is the chosen charity of Stowupland Falcons FC for the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield.
Stow Falcons, winners of the 2020-21 Total Football Suffolk Junior Cup, face McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup winners Bramford United in the Suffolk Champions Charity Shield match at Needham Market FC on Friday, July 16th, kick-off 7.30pm.
Anyone purchasing a ticket online for the match will be supporting the charity of their choice.
To purchase a ticket for the match click here
Mike Smith, who is project manager with Stowmarket Foodbank and has worked for the charity for the past nine years, explains the charity’s work.
First of all tell us about the work undertaken by your charity?
The Stowmarket Foodbank has now been running for nine years, during that time we have seen the work of the foodbank expand and evolve in order to keep up with demand and support families and individuals in crisis. Alongside our emergency food parcels we offer support, lunch clubs, budgeting help and family support. It is heart breaking to hear some of the stories of the people who need help from the foodbank.
People need help for all sorts of reasons, bereavements, family break-up, victim of crime, fire and flood damage, benefit sanctions and sickness, sometimes it could be something as simple as an unexpected bill like a boiler breaking down. Everyone who receives a food parcel is always so touched that local people are willing to help them and many give back to the foodbank once they are back on their feet.
Demand is continuing for food parcels with many families and individuals struggling with loss of jobs, financial crisis, economic effects of the pandemic, school holidays and benefit cuts, but as the demand continues so does the generosity of the people of the area.
It is through this combined effort that the foodbank is able to respond to the ever-increasing urgent need for help. There are over 50 referral agencies signposting people to the foodbank who are in a time of need, covering all ages and all people groups ensuring that they meet genuine needs. Clients are given information and support by staff and with the additional services the foodbank offers we are able to provide both short term help and long-term solutions.
Where is your charity based?
Stowmarket Foodbank is based in Stowmarket and covers Stowmarket and the surrounding villages.
How many people work for your charity – full-time staff, if any, and also the number of volunteers?
Three full-time staff, one part-time staff and 16 volunteers.
How long has the charity been in existence?
The foodbank has been in operation since October 2012.
Do you know how many people you have supported in that time?
Since our start in October 2012 we have delivered out over 6,578 food parcels, which is approx 19,734 local people receiving emergency food parcels from the foodbank.
Can you say how many people you help each year?
So far this year (2021) we have fed 1,461 people.
Have you linked with Stowupland Falcons FC in the past?
Previous donations of food.
How will being the club’s chosen charity help you?
Being chosen as the Stowupland Falcons FC charity has three major benefits, firstly it raises the profile of the foodbank so that anyone who is struggling is aware that there is help out there and where they can go to seek help. Secondly, it reduces the stigma surrounding foodbanks and highlights the fact that events can happen out of our control ie the pandemic which put us in vulnerable positions where we need help from others. And lastly, it promotes the foodbank as a local charity helping local people, therefore prompting people to donate goods at our collection points throughout the area.
If anyone wishes to find out more about your charity where can they do so?
The foodbank is on facebook, has a webpage on www.livingit.org.uk and has its own app available to download.
Finally, if anyone wishes to help support your charity who should they contact and how?
Contact 01449 774000.