The Lancing and Sompting foodbank has asked ‘tremendously generous’ residents to hand in their Christmas donations early this year.
Volunteer Mark Deacon said the foodbank was grateful for the generosity shown during the festive season last year – with Christmas puddings, sweets, quality soft drinks, biscuits, tinned meat and even Christmas Crackers all arriving by the boot load.
He said: “Last Christmas was spectacular, we were rather taken by surprise by the tremendous generosity.
“The people of Lancing and Sompting absolutely pour out generosity in our direction. It’s really quite moving.
“There was so much our team of volunteers were working well into Christmas Eve and even on Christmas Day to get everything to where it was needed.”
He said the foodbank was aiming to be ‘a bit more organised this year’ and asked people to give any Christmas donations by Friday, December 7, so they can be sorted and delivered ahead of Christmas Day.
“We anticipate that as people get into the Christmas season they will need some extra help,” he said.
The foodbank usually hands out about 12 food packages on average, Mr Deacon said.
He said while the national picture showed it was mainly single men in the building trade requiring support from foodbanks, locally it was mostly families – and usually people in work.
“Lancing and Sompting is one of the lowest paid areas in the country,” he said.
“People who get by finish the month with nothing in the bank – then something goes wrong, such as something with their car, and they need a bit of extra help.”
Mr Deacon said there had ‘definitely’ been an increase in people needing help since Universal Credit was rolled out in the area earlier this year.
“People find that their budget has changed,” he said. “That transition had been difficult for some people.”
The foodbank in Lancing started off at the Lancing Tabernacle Church but has just become an independent charity – though it still distributes through the churches.
As well as Christmas treats, the foodbank still needs routine donations – here is some advice on how to help.
Items the foodbank routinely needs:
Tins of: vegetables, baked beans, meat, tomatoes, fish, soup, fruit, rice pudding
Packets of: dried mash potato, tea bags (80s), sugar (500g) rice (500g), pasta (500g)
Jars of: cooking sauces (e.g. Ragu), coffee.
Mr Deacon said: “Gifts of money are also useful as we can use that to top up shortages in specific areas.
“Please help our volunteers by making sure that no gifts contain alcohol, that all gifts have use by dates well into the future, that pack sizes are not very large or heavy e.g. 500m of rice is easier to handle than 1 kilo.
“Keep the choices plain and simple for example Tomato Soup rather than Stilton and Broccoli – we are often providing for children.
“We can only handle dried and tinned food.”
Where to deliver donations
Food Bank Collection points are at:
Lancing Village Hall, The Lions Shop, Lancing Co-op, Sompting Big Local (Tuesday mornings), Lancing Tabernacle (Monday mornings or when staff are present), Any Lancing or Sompting Church
Do you need to access the foodbank?
Anyone who needs help from the food bank can contact the foodbank team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can drop into Lancing Tabernacle any Monday morning or anytime there are staff on site, Sompting Big Local (Cokeham Road) on a Tuesday Morning, Lancing Children’s Centre (the old Freshbrook School ) on a Thursday morning.