Runnymede Foodbank provides vital emergency food and support to local people experiencing financial hardship. As the impact of Covid-19 started to unfold in the community, the Foodbank saw an increase in people needing emergency help. On Tuesday 2 June, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex made a private visit to the Foodbank to understand the work it does in the community and to see how it is responding to the Covid emergency. The Countess joined our volunteers at the Foodbank facility to directly help support one of the Foodbank’s clients.
During Covid-19, the Foodbank is working in partnership with Runnymede Borough Council. To ensure Runnymede residents have the essential food and items they need during these challenging times and to help the Foodbank respond to an increase in people needing support, Runnymede Borough Council allocated an 11,000 sq ft unused warehouse from their commercial portfolio. The Council, plus 13 Council Members across all parties, partnered with the Runnymede Foodbank team to quickly setup and launch a project which enabled residents’ needs to be met with a same-day delivery model in a safe environment with appropriate Covid measures.
Since launch on March 28th, over 750 food packs have been delivered, helping over 1,600 adults and children across the borough from the dedicated warehouse. Runnymede Council have been operating a help line since lockdown to provide much needed support to isolated and vulnerable residents or those in financial need. The project would not have been so overwhelmingly successful if it had not been for the resounding response of residents offering to volunteer who have given so kindly and tirelessly of their time, whether to help at the Foodbank or assisting their fellow neighbours with shopping and pharmacy collections.
During The Countess of Wessex’s time at the Foodbank facility, Her Royal Highness experienced first-hand the impact the organization has on local families. After meeting the volunteers, The Countess worked with Rachel, one of the experienced Runnymede Foodbank volunteers, and helped pack up and deliver food parcels. The Countess showed a real appreciation of the challenges of the clients and was encouraging to all the volunteers, really affirming the value of the work the Foodbank team carries out.
Angela Miller from Runnymede Foodbank said, “We were pleased to welcome The Countess of Wessex to our facility and were grateful for the interest she showed in our work in the local community. We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in Runnymede without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. We’re grateful to everyone in the community for support, as our vital work has only been possible thanks to the incredible generosity of local people – and we look forward to a future where that work won’t be needed.”