The Good Shepherd is appealing for support from people for their hugely important harvest campaign, but appreciate things will be different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Donations of food from individuals, schools, businesses and faith groups at harvest time are vitally significant to the charity, helping to replenish stocks for the food service for many months in the future.
Demand for the Good Shepherd’s food service has increased during the pandemic with 626 different people attending for a takeout meal between April and June, and over 7500 hot meals and food parcels served.
This has also impacted on tinned food, with approximately 600 tins being distributed every week, and replenishing these stocks is a priority for this year’s harvest campaign.
With demand expected to remain high over the coming months, the charity has had to attract more funding support in order to meet the needs of the people that use their services.
Due to current regulations, and with only a limited number of volunteers still allowed back into the Good Shepherd to organise food donations, the charity is asking those who are keen to help to consider making a financial contribution if at all possible.
“We are fortunate to receive so much fantastic support at harvest, and it is such an important time of year for us to build up our food stocks to help deliver our food service for many months to follow,” says Helen Holloway, Admin & Finance Manager at the Good Shepherd.
“We appreciate that these are difficult times for so many at the moment due to the effects of the pandemic, and we are seeing more people needing to make use of our daily food service with numbers up by almost 40 per cent at the peak during lockdown.
“If anyone is able to support us for harvest this year, whilst donations of tins would still be very much appreciated, financial donations of any amount would be just as valuable and would then allow us to purchase the precise food that we require.
“As an example, businesses or churches which have always been so supportive in collecting produce which we can then pass on to our service users, might instead be able to organise a collection from which we would then be able to buy tins that would normally have been donated.
“We know it is probably a difficult time to be asking for support but any contributions of either a donation or food will be extremely well appreciated as we continue to deal with the increased demand over the Winter and into next year.”
There are several different ways that you could support the Good Shepherd during harvest:
- Individual one-off donation, either via the Big Give campaign (click here to view) or via other methods (click here to view)
- A regular monthly donation of which any amount would be gratefully received. To set up please email Helen at [email protected]
- A collection at your school, workplace or place of worship. Please email [email protected]if you would need us to collect it.
- Individual donations of food – tins and non-perishable items – can be left in our collection box by the tills at Sainsbury’s at Chapel Ash.
- Tins collected from a school, business or place of worship will also still be gratefully received if this is preferred. If someone was able to deliver to our Centre on Waterloo Road that would be ideal but we will be able to make a limited number of collections. Please call (01902) 399955 or email [email protected]to discuss if this is your favoured approach.
The Good Shepherd will be circulating a short video soon outlining how important the support of the public is at harvest time and explaining how the charity makes use of all of the kind donations received.
As ever, a huge thank you to everyone who supports the Good Shepherd and ensures we are able to continue to help the most vulnerable members of the community find some hope and confidence for a brighter future.