Caring Dunstable schoolgirl raises funds for local foodbank

Hannah Friend wanted to donate her pocket money

By Lynn Hughes
Monday, 28th March 2022, 4:41 pm
Updated Monday, 28th March 2022, 4:42 pm

A Dunstable six-year-old has been doing her bit for her local foodbank.

Hannah Friend had wanted to give her pocket money to the Dunstable Foodbank after raising her concerns to her parents about people not having enough to eat.

Her saved pocket money only came to £3.41 so the Vale Academy pupil made a video for her family's social media links and they helped her raise £100, which was used to buy supplied for the foodbank.

Hannah Friend with her food donations

"I'm so proud of her," said mum Claire. "She's just that sort of girl, always thinking of others."

Hannah has set her family another challenge for the next school holidays, she wants to raise funds for toys for children in need.

The youngster dropped her supplies off at the Foodbank Centre at St Augustine's Church where Jemma Watkeys, operations manager, said the charity was gearing up for an expected increase in demand from April, as the cost of living crisis bites.

"We normally have around 40-50 families a week who attend," she said. "During Covid there was a dramatic increase and then in 2021 we saw a 21% decrease in demand.

"But from September that has been picking up again, although it is normal to see an increase in winter.

"But we are expecting and preparing for April when it could increase again and we are trying to be ready."

The charity, which has been going since 2012, has three distribution centres, two in Dunstable and one in Houghton Regis, as well as a warehouse in Leighton Buzzard. Around 100 volunteers work at the sites.

"We are absolutely reliant on the generosity of donors," said Jemma.

The major supermarkets in Dunstable and Houghton Regis, have collection pints for people to donate food, and the4 charity also uses cash donations to buy essential goods which are not normally provided.

The list of the charity's most-needed items include: tinned meat e.g. ham, corned beef, pork, tinned fish e.g salmon, mackerel, pilchards, microwave rice packets, sugar (small, 500g packs), sponge puddings and breakfast cereal bars.

To find out more and how you can help go to dunstable.foodbank.org.uk