‘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

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