For the last seven or eight years Andover has been running a Foodbank providing food for the hungry of Test Valley. They have done an incredible job with hundreds of volunteers, sorting out thousands of tons of food over those years. They have promoted the need, spoken in schools, churches and community groups and seen many families in desperate need, turn to them for essential food items when circumstances have become so bad that they have had no one else to ask for help.
Last year Andover Foodbank sent me their annual report detailing all their good work and how usage has increased considerably over the last three years, something which we have seen in our national press. One of the items on their report intrigued me, both as a Romsey resident and local Church Minister. They were providing food for over 943 families that lived in Romsey each year. All the Romsey Churches and some local supermarkets were busy collecting food by the van load, seeing it transported up to Andover, the volunteers from Andover were sorting out the donations, packaging them up and sending them back to agencies in Romsey, to be given out to hundreds of our families!
Although in awe of Andover’s efforts, I felt we were being irresponsible and maybe a little lazy in letting the kind residents of Andover serve the needs of our local community. Possibly the people of Romsey were happy for others to sort out the need on our doorstep, then we could simply pretend that we had no need for a Foodbank – but we do… we have over 900 people in desperate need.
So, after some really positive conversations with local church leaders, I am glad to announce, that in April 2016 with the help of the team from Andover, the people of Romsey will be taking full responsibility of the collection AND distribution of food to people of Romsey and the surrounding villages.
Exciting isn’t it… or maybe it’s too close to home?
p.s. If you would like to get involved in this new adventure please do get in touch with with
Jo Topley who is co-ordinating the project firstname.lastname@example.org