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Rotary helps foodbank over Christmas with elfy meals!

Rotary helps foodbank over Christmas with elfy meals!

Rotarians in Nottinghamshire have been supporting a foodbank which has come under extra pressure over the festive period.

Rushcliffe Rotary Club has stepped up to the plate over Christmas to help the award-winning Cotgrave Community Kitchen ensure that no-one in the community goes hungry this winter.

Through Rotary4foodbanks, the Nottinghamshire-based club has made donations totalling £1500 in recent months, providing vital food supplies for food parcels and weekly cooked meals for around 100 people locally.

Santa’s elf, Sandra Morrey, is one of eight Rotary Club members helping to pick up food donated by local supermarkets and deliver fresh hot and healthy meals each week to people in need in the Cotgrave area.

This year especially, the work they do is proving vital as people struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic, and the economic downturn.

foodbanks

Santa’s elf, Sandra Morrey, of Rushcliffe Rotary Club with some of the supplies provided by Rotary4foodbanks to Cotgrave Community Kitchen.

The kitchen was set up by Jill Mathers and Farah Jamil in 2019, in conjunction with Metropolitan Housing and Rushcliffe Borough Council, to help combat loneliness as well as to prevent food waste and make sure no-one went hungry.

Local people came together to eat and share company each Thursday at the Community café in Woodview.

But when the pandemic struck earlier this year the team had to change the way they worked and they needed extra volunteers to help out.

When Sandra Morrey and her Rushcliffe Rotary colleagues heard of the need, they stepped in.

“I mentioned it at a club Zoom meeting and immediately eight members volunteered practical help.  Straight away we made a financial donation from our club funds and it has grown from there,” said Sandra.

Rushcliffe Rotary teamed up with other Rotary clubs as part of Rotary4foodbanks – which pools funds and buys food at bulk discounted prices which it then shares between over 50 foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

I mentioned it at a club Zoom meeting and immediately eight members volunteered practical help. Straight away we made a financial donation from our club funds and it has grown from there,”

So far Rotary4foodbanks has distributed over £100,000 worth of food supplies across the region.

Now, while Sandra’s daughter’s partner Jon volunteers as a chef the kitchens, she and her husband Chris deliver 18 meals every Thursday, together with food parcels of essential supplies for some of the most vulnerable in the community.

“The food provides a vital lifeline,” she explained, “but so does the company we provide on our rounds, just checking that people are okay.

So far Rotary4foodbanks has distributed over £100,000 worth of food supplies across the region.”

“For some people who are shielding, we may be the only human contact they have each week.”

Currently, Cotgrave Community Kitchen delivers 100 meals every week. Like Rotary, the project is run entirely by volunteers.

Sandra fears that demand for foodbank services will grow as the winter progresses.

She added: “There is real hardship out there.  Rotary is renowned for the work it does in local communities and our club link with Cotgrave Community Kitchen is just one example of that commitment.

For some people who are shielding, we may be the only human contact they have each week.”

“Regionwide, the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is looking to raise another £100,000 through donations to ensure that it can continue its work in 2021.

“The scheme is run entirely by volunteers so has no overheads – every penny given goes straight to buying food for those in need.”