Staff and student volunteers from Coventry University went to help out at a local food bank warehouse last week. It is just one of many projects that students undertake in the community. The warehouse in question was at the Macdonald Road Methodist Church in Wyken where they also collect clothes and distribute them to centres throughout the city for those most in need.
Tracy Reay, the volunteering and employment project officer at Coventry University joined the students at the warehouse where they spent the morning sorting out the crates of food in date order. All the food had been donated by companies, schools, individuals and community groups.
“Food banks are a vital resource for families on low incomes. As more and more families are feeling the pinch, places like this really come into their own. We wanted to do something practical to help out and I know that one of the biggest tasks at a busy warehouse is getting the donations sorted so that they can be distributed to the food banks.”
The Macdonald Road warehouse supplies 16 food banks in and around Coventry where people can go to pick up vital supplies.
Tony Lee, assistant warehouse manager at the warehouse said that the organisation is going to open food bank number seventeen in the near future:
“Our next food back is due to open in October and we have bins located in various places across the city where people can place their food as well as dropping it off at one of our centres. In our first year of operation, we helped just over 6,000 people. Last year, it was 18,000. Although it seems to have levelled out a bit this year, we can never have enough donations as we also help out centres in other parts of the UK when their stocks are low.
“People come to us for help and we try our best to point them in the right direction by enlisting the services of other agencies working within the community. We are grateful to the students for coming over to help us organise the food crates in our warehouse.”
The Volunteering & Employability Department support Coventry University students and staff to secure rewarding volunteering placements within the local community.
Volunteering within CUSU is growing and last year they had approximately 2,000 students expressing an interest in volunteering. The team managed to place students within 130 organisations across Coventry, Birmingham and Warwickshire last year and had many one-off events like the one at the food bank warehouse.
For more information about the food banks in the city, visit the website Coventry Food Bank
written by Ali Bushnell