A social welfare project that provides emergency support to people in food crisis has been awarded a £500 donation by Peasedown St John’s Party in the Park Festival.
The Somer Valley Foodbank, which has fed over 7,000 people since it was launched in 2013, was presented with a £500 cheque last week by the festival’s organisers.
Volunteers from the foodbank spent a day at the summer event on 8th June, offering their services with gate marshalling and other duties.
Party in the Park Bookings Manager Karen Walker said: “Every year at the festival we need to recruit over 50 volunteers to help ensure the day runs smoothly.
“The biggest task is greeting the 2,500 members of the public that attend through one of the five entrance gates, and collecting their donations.
“This year we were thrilled to have volunteers from the Somer Valley Foodbank with us, who agreed to marshal two of the busiest gates for the whole day!”
Foodbanks provide three days of emergency food to people who need it the most.
Professionals such as health visitors, social workers and Citizens’ Advice identify people in crisis and issue them with a voucher.
The voucher can be taken to a foodbank distribution centre where a team of volunteers will offer a cup of tea and help people with their food needs.
Somer Valley Foodbank Chairman Paul Woodland added: “We have a Foodbank Distribution Centre open at the Methodist Church in Peasedown St John every Friday.
“We meet people who really need help and come to us with a range of emotional and other wellbeing problems.
“Despite only being able to provide 3 days of emergency food, we try to signpost them to other agencies that might be able to help.”
The foodbank’s operational costs are much more than people would think, with over £6,000 a year needed to pay the rent at the project’s warehouse, where non-perishable foods are stored.
Party in the Park Treasurer Joy Fraser commented: “It’s not always easy to find property that can be used for free these days, and even a social welfare project like the Somer Valley Foodbank will have bills to pay.
“It’s because of this that the Party in the Park Team wanted to honour the valuable work of project with a £500 donation, and are certain it will be put to good use.”
To volunteer with the Somer Valley Foodbank and find out more about the project locally, visit www.somervalley.foodbank.org.uk.