Mansfield foodbank's plea for volunteers in run up to busy festive season

Keith Hadfield, project manager at the Stables
Keith Hadfield, project manager at the Stables

Christmas is a time for good food, celebrations, and cosy nights in with the family.

But for many families across Mansfield, Christmas is another day of struggling to put food on the table, and keep the heating on.

Foodbanks are already gearing up to deal with the extra demand for parcels throughout the festive season and beyond.

With cold weather putting pressure on people already in crisis, the Trussell Trust say December is the busiest month of the year for their foodbanks - and this year is expected to be the busiest one yet.

Between the first of January and the end of September this year, the Trussell Trust foodbank at The Stables in Mansfield Woodhouse fed 4,500 people.

That's 4,500 people in our town who would have gone hungry if it wasn't for the generosity of those who donate, and the volunteers who give up their time to keep the foodbank going.

Keith Hadfield, project manager at the Stables, says that although Christmas is a busy time, they do struggle for supplies after the festive period.

"We do struggle for stock, but after harvest festivals we are swamped - it's after Christmas we notice a lull.

"From April to September, we could potentially sink - we rely on regular cash donations during that time to keep going.

"This year, we really need more volunteers. They don't necessarily have to commit to coming every week, we may just need them for a task that would take an hour or so."

Tasks such as moving stock to and from a storage unit, picking up donated food from supermarkets, packing food boxes and arranging collection of donations help the foodbank keep running in a time it is needed the most.

And The Stables is facing such demand, it will open an extra day in the run up to Christmas.

The last day they are open before Christmas Day is December 19.

Usually open Monday and Thursdays, they will open on the Wednesday December 18 as well.

"When we started in 2013, we thought we might be here for a couple of years, but there's no sign of us going anywhere," added Keith.

"We are very fortunate to receive the cash donations we do throughout the year, we'd sink without them.

"I do an online shop in quiet periods, and can easily spend £1,000 on supplies which last two to three weeks."

If you wish to donate, you can drop your donations off at he Stables Centre, on Church Street on Mondays and Thursdays.

If you have more than four bags, please call the centre beforehand so their volunteers can prepare.

Your Chad will also have a drop-off point located in the reception of Concept 360, on Weighbridge Road, from Wednesday, October 30.

You can also donate at drop-off points at Tesco Oak Tree Lane, Morrisons at Mansfield Woodhouse, and Asda at Forest Town.

If you wish to volunteer, please email: info@sherwoodforest.foodbank.org.uk

Here is what the foodbank needs:

Toiletries - soap, deodorant, dental items, toilet rolls, nappies, sanitary products.

Tinned tomatoes

Jars of pasta sauce

Tinned spaghetti

Tinned vegetables

Tinned potatoes

Tinned fish

Tins of cold meat

Tinned fruit

Tinned rice pudding

Dried pasta and rice

Biscuits

Tea & Coffee

UHT Milk

Fruit juice

Red and brown sauce

Chocolate snacks