Foodbank relaunches in town thanks to Royston Evangelical Church and community support

The Royston Foodbank closed at the end of November. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Royston Foodbank closed at the end of November. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Royston Foodbank has relaunched four months after it closed down, with the new project manager expecting a spike in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pastor Jonathan Scott, of Royston Evangelical Church, has taken over the running of the foodbank – which had been based in Market Hill since 2014 but closed when the previous managers retired.

He told the Crow: “The foodbank provided an important service for people in the town.

“Obviously when Andy and Viv had to close down the old foodbank, there was quite a reaction which showed how much it was needed, so it’s great to be able to serve the community in this way. As Christians that is what we want to do – show the community the love of Jesus through our actions.

“We started collecting food for people and we’ve been fundraising – Johnson Matthey donated £1,000. Cash donations are helpful for storage purposes and people can donate items at McColl’s in Queens Road, Royston Evangelical church, the RC church, Icknield Walk First School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, the Heath Sports Club and soon there will be a collection bin at Morrisons.

“We have been getting various agencies to give out vouchers, there are about 30 – the schools, the doctors, housing officers, Citizens Advice, social services and more.”

Jonathan said that usually around a dozen households per week would access the foodbank, but he expects a spike due to the coronavirus outbreak if schools close.

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He said: “There are probably 150 families in Royston who get free school meals and they are going to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic as I anticipate schools will shut down.

“Hopefully the supermarkets will still have food for us to go and buy and then we should be able to meet a significant spike in demand.

Jonathan also said their services had outgrown their York Way building, and they now hold Sunday services at 10.30am at Coombes Community Centre in Burns Road – which has enabled them to free up space to store food in their building.

If members of the community want to donate food, they are urged to follow the church’s Facebook page – where regular updates will be added regarding what items are needed.

Search ‘Royston Evangelical Church’ on Facebook for more information.