A record-breaking response in South Holland to the needy

RECORD BREAKERS: Pastor Chas Sandhu, Irene Davies, Darren Fawcett and volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank Spalding are thankful for a bumper crop of donations from this year's Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
RECORD BREAKERS: Pastor Chas Sandhu, Irene Davies, Darren Fawcett and volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank Spalding are thankful for a bumper crop of donations from this year's Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
  • Churches shows God’s love in their communities

Foodbanks in South Holland and the Deepings are losing count after a record-breaking amount of donations towards this year’s Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal.

Schools, churches, businesses, farmers and growers across the area have opened their hearts like never before in response to those who would have faced Christmas with no food on the table.

But so much food has been donated by Guardian readers that volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank Spalding have called off an operation to sort through tins and bags of food until the new year, due to the sheer quantity of items given.

Foodbank coordinator Irene Davies said: “The amount of food that has come in is unbelievable and I don’t think we’ve ever had this phenomenal level of support from all round the community before.

“Schools like Pinchbeck East Primary School and Long Sutton Pimary School, which had already provided us with food from their harvest festivals, both ran Reverse Advent Calendars for their pupils to bring in more.

“There’s been lots of food donated by people at St Mary and St Nicolas Church and with the donations from Spalding Academy and Spalding High School as well, it has really set us up amazingly for the new year.”

The amount of food that has come in is unbelievable and I don’t think we’ve ever had this phenomenal level of support from all round the community before

Irene Davies, coordinator, Agapecare Foodbank Spalding

Meanwhile, Holbeach Community Larder and foodbanks in Sutterton, Sutton Bridge, Deeping St James and Bourne all benefited from a three-day Neighbourhood Food Collection at Tesco stores in south-east Lincolnshire earlier this month.

About 13,700 meals were donated in total and Graham Thompson, of Deepings Foodbank, said: “We received wonderful help and support from all the Tesco staff and thanks to the support and generosity of the Deepings’ public, we collected 259 trays of food.

All the foodbanks in south-east Lincolnshire are run by churches, including The Lighthouse Church where Agapecare Foodbank Spalding is based.

Pastor Chas Sandhu, of The Lighthouse Church, said: “People have been absolutely wonderful in their giving and we really appreciate the good heart they have shown to those less fortunate than themselves.

“This is showing the love of God to our community in practical ways.

“But also in doing it we see God at work in ways that are just quite amazing and needs are always provided for in different ways.”