Food banking scheme in plea for festive base

HELP NEEDED: Pastors Emma and Andrew Stewart-Darling are looking for somewhere to store 150 crates of food.
HELP NEEDED: Pastors Emma and Andrew Stewart-Darling are looking for somewhere to store 150 crates of food.
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A project striving to give struggling families a “Christmas to remember” is in desperate need of storage premises.

The Stour Valley Vineyard Church, based in Sudbury, is making an emergency appeal for assistance in its festive food bank scheme.

This involves donated food being distributed to people in need who would go hungry without it.

Although the church has run the operation for the last few years, it has encountered difficulties finding a building to store up to 150 crates of food and is appealing for help.

Pastor Emma Stewart-Darling, who has run the organisation with her husband Andrew since 2007, said planning the scheme without suitable premises was proving difficult.

“We really need to find somewhere as soon as we can and hope someone from the local community will come forward to help,” she said.

“There are so many families out there who are struggling to feed themselves and we want to give them a Christmas to remember.”

Mrs Stewart-Darling said the church gave away around 300 food bags throughout the year and last Christmas had been able to provide more than 40 vital food hampers for the festive season.

This year, they have teamed up with Waitrose in Sudbury and are hoping to have enough donated food for nearer 200 hampers.

“Any large empty buildings or a warehouse would be ideal and this really is an emergency appeal,” said Mrs Stewart-Darling.

The supermarket will be encouraging shoppers to take part in food banking – where customers buy extra items in their normal shop to donate at the till – between November 24 and December 17.

Store manager Miles Beasley said the project played a crucial role in feeding many disadvantaged people.

“This affects far more people than we realise,” he said.

To offer a temporary premises to the church, contact 01787 377670.