Essex Community Foundation

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Community bands together to help foodbank after break in

13th December 2018

A foodbank in Braintree hit by heartless thieves who made off with their van and equipment, has been rescued just before Christmas by a £12,000 grant from funds managed by Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

The break-in took place at Lakes Industrial Park, in October and the devastating blow left the charity struggling to collect donated food and deliver it to their four distribution centres in Braintree district.

A replacement van had to be hired to keep up their vital work of supplying food to people in financial crisis.

Last year, the foodbank distributed almost 40 tonnes of food to 3,268 people, including nearly 1,300 children.

Faced with the task of buying a replacement van, Dorothy Lodge, funding co-ordinator at the foodbank, phoned ECF for help.

The independent grantmaking trust manages 154 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses. The Foundation awards grants from these funds to support the work of local charities and community organisations throughout Essex.

Dorothy said: “We rely on the van to pick-up donated food from local businesses and collection points and then getting it to our centres to help people who need our support. It has been tough without it.

Having a local funder like ECF to turn to has been a lifesaver. The grant has helped us to buy a replacement van and we are so grateful”.

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF said: “We were shocked to hear about the break-in at the foodbank and were pleased to be able to respond so quickly to their request for help. They do sterling work and are coping with a growing need. The much-needed grant has come from pooling money from the RSM Community Fund, the Jean and Peter Davey Charitable Fund and the Yellow Car Charitable Fund.”

RSM, a tax and accounting firm based in Chelmsford, set up their corporate fund with ECF in 2008.

Jennifer Collins, manager, said: “The work of the foodbank is commendable and without it, people who are struggling to feed themselves and their families would go hungry. When the Foundation brought the foodbank’s terrible situation to our attention, we knew we had to help. We are so pleased to award them a grant from our fund with ECF to help to contribute to the cost of their new van.”

If you would like to discuss how ECF can help your company to support local community activity please call Steven Mackenzie on 01245 355947.