Generous shoppers who visited Sainsbury’s on Ings Road, Wakefield, this weekend raised £1,400 and contributed to four trolleys of food worth £450 for St Catherine’s food bank.
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson joined 12 teenagers bag packing to help fundraise for St Catherine's and the charitable shoppers at the supermarket raised almost enough money to reach the group’s initial target of £2,000 across the 14 hours they were packing bags.
The young people were helping at the food bank as part of their 30 hour Social Action Project for the NCS (National Citizen Service scheme) programme, for which they also helped to run the Emergency Food Store and St Catherine’s Day Care Service for a week, along with hosting a day of activities for the children.
The Rt Reverend Tony Robinson said, “It was great to meet all the young people who had been helping out at St Catherine's food bank.
“Bag packing was their final day and they were well rewarded by lots of generous shoppers.”
Jonathan Williams, Project Administrator at St Catherine’s food bank mentioned a particularly generous shopper, “At our Charity of the Year partnership launch on Saturday, a customer read a leaflet with a list of the 14 items we particularly need at St Catherine's, went around Sainsbury's to purchase a newspaper, and returned to our donation trolley with three bags of shopping holding all 14 items we require.”
He said, “We were truly overwhelmed by the kindness of customers at Sainsbury’s over the two days.
“So many spoke of their admiration for what we do and some even told us of their own struggles with food poverty at one time or another.
“We were also really humbled by the kindness of the staff and by how generous they were with their time and resources.
“The launch of our Charity of the Year partnership was a huge success with as much as £1400 being raised at the tills and £450 worth of food being donated to our trolley.
“Everyone at St Catherine’s is really grateful for the immense support of Sainsbury’s, their customers and of course The Bishop of Wakefield who we were happy to see on both days.”
Jonathan adds, “I was also interviewed at Wakefield Cathedral by Reporter Joe Beardsall from Ridings FM and consequently our partnership launch was announced in the news every hour throughout Friday.
“If our very first bag packs on a quiet weekend at the height of summer is anything to go by, we cannot wait for our next bag packs in October and December!”
After being named as the Charity of the Year by the branch on Ings Road, St Catherine’s are expecting to receive help from Sainsbury’s throughout the year with numerous other bag packing opportunities and donations to support their cause.
Some of the wards in Wakefield are among the most deprived areas in the country and St Catherine's food bank provides help for these local people living beneath the poverty line, giving aid to families before other social care procedures can be applied.
The food bank is the largest in Wakefield and the Five Towns was recently awarded the Community Enterprise Award at the Wakefield Express Business Awards on 25th June.
For more information on the food bank, please contact Jonathan Williams at St Catherine’s Church Centre via foodstore [at] stcatherines-wakefield.org.uk or by calling 01924 211130.