Waveney Foodbank

Waveney Foodbank has been the Parish’s chosen local charity since 2012. It is fundamentally an ecumenical venture but encompasses all faiths and none. Its main aim is to provide emergency food to those in need but it also supplies a variety of other essential household items that are donated by the public. These are donated via many collections points in the area, including St Edmund’s Church and St Thomas More Chapel, to a central warehouse where it is sorted and boxed prior to being issued to distribution centres.

While Sunday Mass is no longer an obliglation and some collection points are not operative, you can donate money by visiting https://waveney.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/

There are distribution centres in Diss, Harleston (St John’s Church, Methodist Church) Bungay (Emmanuel Church), and Long Stratton serving outlying villages in their area plus a delivery service covering Fressingfield and Stradbroke. Foodbank vouchers are obtained from care providers such as the CAB, doctors, schools, housing associations and health visitors. These vouchers are exchanged, at the distribution centres for a food box containing a balanced diet lasting three days per person.

Many parishioners donate the much needed and appreciated items and volunteer their time to man the distribution centres. Unfortunately there has been an ever increasing, though fluctuating, need for this kind of support in the area over the past four years and more.

Further details about the local organisation, and about Foodbank national news and campaigns, can be found on the Waveney Foodbank’s own website. 

Malcolm Griffin from the Harleston Foodbank has written on what to do if you, or someone you know, needs help from the Foodbank:

What if you, or someone you know needs help from the local Foodbank?

Malcolm and Margaret Griffin asked Matthew Scade who is Operations Manager of the Waveney Foodbank (which serves all of our parish area).

He provided this advice for people who live in Harleston and the surrounding villages:

“Currently, in the Harleston area, around 100 people a month are visiting the Foodbank. Sadly, we expect this number to grow as budgets get tighter and energy and fuel prices increase along with rising food costs. If you need to choose between paying a bill and eating, then feel free to ask for assistance.

We will happily provide you with enough food for ten meals, and you are welcome to reapply if you need extra help after that.

You can obtain a voucher by talking to:

  • Your social housing landlord,
  • Citizens Advice,
  • Harleston Information Plus,
  • South NorfolkCouncil Housing
  • Help Hub 01508 533933
  • Help Through Hardship on 0808 208 2138 (it’s a freephone number).

Or, if you have children at school in Harleston, have a word with the pastoral care team. If you have children at any of the village schools, the school office should be able to help.

There are two centres open in Harleston each week:

  • St John’s Church, Tuesday afternoons, 1:30pm to 3:00pm (The free “Together CommunityCafe” is also open at the same times – pop along for a chat and free cake and drinks)
  • The London Road Church, Friday mornings 10:00am to 11:30am”