Royston funeral director Cecil Newling provides storage facility for town’s foodbank

Jessica Kerr and Viv Williams at the foodbank storage centre

Jessica Kerr and Viv Williams at the foodbank storage centre - Credit: Archant

A funeral directors is pitching in to help with a new foodbank.

Cecil Newling funeral directors, in Market Hill, Royston, has provided a store room and drop off point where people can leave items they want to donate to the foodbank.

As reported in The Crow, the foodbank launched in April to help vulnerable families in the area who can’t afford to feed themselves.

Jessica Kerr, funeral arranger at Cecil Newling, explained how the firm got involved.

She said: “The foodbank was offered use of a warehouse on the other side of town for incoming food donations and had a distribution point opposite Cecil Newling’s premises but nowhere to store the food nearby.

“After a short conversation with the Area Manager and the directors of Lodge Brothers [owners of Cecil Newling], we were delighted to offer the trustees the room above their funeral home as a local drop off and storage point.

“The room has gone from a rarely used mess room to one filled with shelves of tinned and dried food, toiletries, nappies and even pet food as it is felt that it would be very sad for families to have to part with loved pets because they had temporarily come across hard times.”

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Foodbanks provide short-term emergency food supplies while people seek more permanent solutions. Residents are referred to the foodbank by support agencies.

Nationally, the use of foodbanks has grown rapidly, with more than 70,000 people a month using the service, a six-fold increase compared to two years ago.

Roystonian’s have got behind the town’s foodbank since launched, with more than one and half tonnes of food collected at Royston Tesco Extra over two days in July.

Mrs Kerr said: “Viv Williams and husband Andy work tirelessly with their band of volunteers to weigh and sort the contributions into type and Best Before date ready for distribution when the need arises.

“I have been taken aback by the enthusiasm for the project by local residents, some of whom call in a weekly basis with carrier bags of food. This includes two small children, who rarely miss coming in with their mother after school on a Friday afternoon to bring a bag of food which always includes some sweets.”