Hundred attend Rainham Foodbank’s ‘joyous’ Christmas fete

PUBLISHED: 12:13 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:13 14 December 2016

Warehouse supervisor Nicky Reitz and volunteer Julie Lawson at Rainham foodbank Christmas party

Warehouse supervisor Nicky Reitz and volunteer Julie Lawson at Rainham foodbank Christmas party

Vickie Flores/Archant

Nearly 100 people attended the Christmas party organised by a foodbank to bring some joy to families in need during the festive season.

Rainham Foodbank distributed clothes, toys and Christmas food hampers to families following a service at the Mardyke Community Centre on Monday.

Warehouse supervisor Nicky Reitz said: “It was a joyous event. People feel ashamed to come to a foodbank and people have a lot of pride and don’t want to come to us but once they are here, they are not ashamed anymore.”

The foodbank, which is opened to everyone regardless of their faith, has run the initiative for the past three years.

Pastor Aloysius Peter, who founded the foodbank in 2011, said: “We want to make it a great day for people who don’t have much. We are doing this because we know that people give to those who will give back but we want to reverse this trend.”

Mr Peter said the centre has seen an increase in the number of people using the foodbank, and a range of new faces from Rainham and Hornchurch, but also Dagenham.

“Unemployment is also increasing but my duty is to help people,” he told the Recorder.

The foodbank is always in need of more volunteers and financial support to help with its running costs, but one thing it has is the backing of the community.

“The relationship we have with schools, supermarkets and churches in the area means we always have enough food,” said Mr Peter.

Last week, pupils from Sanders School, Suttons Lane, Hornchurch donated food and toiletries with the money students saved by spending less on chocolate.

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