‘Life-changing’ Rainham food bank holds Christmas giveaway

PUBLISHED: 17:16 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:42 19 December 2014

Milly and Becky at Rainham food bank's Christmas event (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Milly and Becky at Rainham food bank's Christmas event (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)


It’s a festive staple for most, but a basic Christmas dinner is out of reach for much of the borough’s most disadvantaged.

Or rather it would be were it not for the efforts of the Rainham food bank, whose work makes this desperate time of year more tolerable for so many.

In the Mardyke Centre in South Street, adjacent to new development Orchard Village, the food bank held its annual Christmas event on Monday.

Around 200 families turned up to collect festive hampers and join in with carol singing.

Food bank user and father Carl Downing, from Rainham, said the service had changed his life.

“We appreciate what the food bank has done for us,” he said.

“We’ve been coming here about once a month for a year, and they welcome us with open arms and really made a difference to our lives.”

Aloysius Peter, founded the food bank in November 2011. Today the organisation regularly supports between 150-200 families.

He said: “Over the years, since the inception of the Rainham food bank, we have been donating hampers to all our clients at Christmas.

“I cannot really express in words how appreciative the clients who receive these hampers are.

“There are many people that nobody remembers at all, so receiving hampers with a Christmas card personally addressed to them, gave them the sense of belonging and hope.”

South Hornchurch’s Cllr Michael Deon Burton has supported the foodbank since it was founded.

He said: “It’s a service that by it’s very take-up shows it’s needed. And what it does is provide food, a warm environment, and if someone feels like they’re on their own, it’s somewhere they can find they’re not.

“I’m particularly proud of the Rainham foodbank, and I know it’s held in high regard. It’s reputation is beyond reproach.”

Donations help the food bank to keep going. You can contribute on their PayPal page.

You can also get in touch by emailing

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

15 minutes ago

Two women have been arrested following a series of assaults, robberies and hit-and-runs in Romford and Hornchurch on Saturday night.

Hundreds of families gathered in Romford Market on Thursday for the annual Christmas lights switch-on we have all been waiting for.

A Rainham pub which had its licence suspended following police reports of serious disorder will have its appeal against the decision finally decided this morning, Monday, November 20.

Yesterday, 15:00

Just 130 years ago, Hornchurch was a quaint town with gabled houses, says Prof Ged Martin

Moped gangs and knife crime often go hand-in-hand – and are among the gravest fears of residents in Havering.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Did you know that when you can’t see the Moon in the sky, he’s actually down here on earth, suited and booted and fighting crime?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Shortage of daylight makes us grumpier

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now