Council hands back Rugby Foodbank operation to Hope4
RUGBY Borough Council has handed back the operation of Rugby Foodbank to Hope4.
Volunteers from the charity returned to the foodbank headquarters at The Retreat today (Monday), introducing new opening hours - 12.30pm to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The council agreed to take over the operation of the foodbank from Hope4 at the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March.
At the time, the charity feared having to close the foodbank due to the risks the pandemic posed to both its team of volunteers and the public.
Council staff were redeployed to run the operation, providing more than 700 food parcels to residents and delivering nearly 150 parcels to people unable to visit the foodbank to collect.
Donations of food and toiletries from generous residents and community organisations totalled 37,500kg, ensuring all residents referred to the foodbank received support.
Cllr Seb Lowe, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: "Supporting our vulnerable residents has been a key component of the council's response to the coronavirus pandemic and, for many, Rugby Foodbank provides a vital service.
"We were keen to reach an agreement with Hope4 to ensure the foodbank remained operational during a critical period of the pandemic, and we're pleased the charity and its volunteers can now return to take over the reins.
"I'd like to thank the council staff who worked so hard to keep the foodbank running, many of whom were juggling shifts at the foodbank with regular duties."
Diana Mansell, chair of Hope4, said: "I am so grateful to everyone at the council who stepped in at very short notice to keep the foodbank running.
"We are now delighted to be welcoming back many of our existing volunteers and some new ones, and to be back in our new building.
"We anticipate being even busier over the next few months as the economic fallout from the pandemic starts to be felt more acutely. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the last few months and the months to come.
"During these unprecedented times the community in Rugby has really shown how it can pull together to support from grassroots up in so many ways."
For more information on Rugby Foodbank, visit www.rugby.foodbank.org.uk