On 12th October 2021, the trustees and volunteers of Cobham Area Foodbank were honoured to welcome Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey and his wife Lady Angela Lamport to their Distribution Centre. On behalf of the Lieutenancy Sir Stephen presented the team with a certificate in recognition of the outstanding contribution that Cobham Area Foodbank has made in support of the local community during the pandemic.
Sir Stephen spoke warmly of the work of the Foodbank over the last eighteen months: “On behalf of The Lieutenancy, we wish to thank Cobham Area Foodbank for the outstanding dedication and support you have made for those in crisis in your local community during the pandemic. Thanks to all the efforts, generosity and commitment of Cobham Area Foodbank, its army of dedicated volunteers and its supporters, you have provided a lifeline to the most vulnerable and needy people in your Community during this unprecedented time”.
Cobham Area Foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in the local area. Since it opened in December 2013, the Foodbank has provided over 173 tonnes of emergency food. Throughout the pandemic, Cobham Area Foodbank was able to adapt to Covid safety measures and remain open so clients could continue to receive essential food and toiletry items.
Christina van Roest, Trustee & General Manager, explained “Since the start of the Pandemic, we have been able to help families who come to our Centre at the Cobham United Church. We have heard stories of misfortune, loneliness, being out of work, being cooped up because of lockdown with kids not knowing what to do anymore, worried about income and trying to cope with daily life during all the restrictions”. She continued, “No wonder that causes mental health problems for many, including children. There are so many people with particular needs in our area, who require more than just food, and we try to help by signposting, talking and encouraging them to hang in there for better times. But the daily urgency is clear to see.”
Although the worst of the Pandemic appears to be over, the future is still uncertain, worrying and unpredictable. The Foodbank will continue with its efforts to help as many people as possible who come through its doors or contact them. PPE and the precautions that were enforced from the beginning of the Pandemic will continue to be adopted, because otherwise many people would be disadvantaged and hurt if the Foodbank had to isolate and shut down.
Anyone who would like to help can donate food at the collection points and ‘bins’ at the churches and various shops – a full list can be found at cobhamarea.foodbank.org.uk or donate financially https://cobhamarea.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/