CHRISTMAS FOODBANK APPEAL 2018: A record response from the community leaves foodbank centres 'inundated and overwhelmed' by donations
The eighth Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal has proved to be a record breaker, with more donations across South Holland and Sutterton than ever before.
Volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank Spalding were left "amazed, inundated and overwhelmed" by the sheer volume of tinned food, seasonal sweets and toys donated by schools, churches, businesses and members of the public.
Holbeach Community Larder has been boosted by anonymous donations of cash delivered through the door of the town's vicar, the Rev Rosamund Seal, while students at Peele Community College, Long Sutton, brought in more than 500 items for Sutton Bridge Community Larder.
But probably the biggest single donation for this year's appeal came from Spalding High School were 1,700 items of tinned food were counted on the school's annual Bring-a-Tin Day.
Headmistress Michele Anderson said: "This was our fifth annual Bring-A-Tin day in support of Agapecare Foodbank where we encourage the whole school to bring in an item of non-perishable food to donate to the charity.
"In return, the students were able to wear a Christmas jumper or other non-uniform clothes for the day.
"This year the school community donated 1,701 items of food to the foodbank, a new school record, bringing our total donations over the last five years to more than 6,600 items.
"Ben Briggs and the Sixth Form Charities Committee organised a fantastic appeal and helped with the collection, counting and delivery of the donations and I would to thank everyone for their donations and generosity.
"This is such a worthy cause and I am so grateful to everyone who supports the school and this charity, helping those who need it most."
Jane Moody, head teacher at Peele Community College, said: "Over the past month, ourCharity Champions have been collecting food items each Friday and putting them in food boxes, decorating them in a Christmas-themed style.
"Over 500 items were collected which is of amazing credit to the students and their parents."
Students at Boston College's Spalding campus were involved in a "Foodbank Run" where donations were collected and delivered to foodbanks in Spalding and Sutterton.
Dawn Telford, Boston College's head of learner services, said "As we use the foodbanks ourselves to help support our learners and their families, we decided that it was only right for us to help and give back to this amazing service which helps those in need, especially around this time of year.
"It is also a fantastic way of ensuring our learners develop and understand the importance of social responsibility."
Joanne Maher, the college's principal and chief executive, added: "Boston College is proud to support the local community by donating to the foodbanks and the generosity from both staff and students has been fantastic."
There were also donations from Spalding Young Professionals, a group made up of accountants, estate agents and solicitors working in Spalding and Pinchbeck, Turner's Fish and Chips, Spalding, the town's branch of Lloyds Bank and Spalding Travel.
Irene Davies, coordinator of Agapecare Foodbank Spalding, said: "There has been an amazing outpouring of generosity from the community this year for the Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
"It's been beyond our wildest expectations and we've just been inundated with people knocking on our door.
"Considering the times we're in economically, you would have thought that people would hang on to what they've got.
"But the people of Spalding love giving and we've been overwhelmed by the phenomenal amounts of food donated by people from all walks of life."
Speaking about the community's response in Holbeach, Mrs Seal said: "We've had a fabulous response to our appeal, including several cash donations put through the vicarage door.
"In particular, there was one for £100 and another of £50, as well as people turning up at the Vicarage and All Saints Church with bags of donations.
"Also, we've had people turning up on Fridays when the community larder is open with bags of goodies, either from individuals, local churches or businesses.
"Every year we are overwhelmed by the wonderful response and generosity of local people and this year has been no exception."