A project wor­thy of our sup­port

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Rotarycorner -

Did you know that one in four chil­dren in Peter­bor­ough live in poverty? What a star­tling statis­tic! Sadly things are likely to get worse when the Uni­ver­sal Credit Sys­tem comes into be­ing in April.

When lo­cal Ro­tary clubs iden­tify a worth­while project they of­ten work to­gether and pool re­sources. Sim­i­larly when we learn of new ini­tia­tives taken by other agen­cies op­er­at­ing in the area we try to be on hand to of­fer help.

One such ex­am­ple re­cently was when mem­bers of Peter­bor­ough Or­tons Ro­tary Club learnt that a new Food­bank was to go live in Peter­bor­ough at the end of Oc­to­ber. They im­me­di­ately threw them­selves into it, quick to of­fer do­na­tions of food as well as un­der­go­ing train­ing to be able to vol­un­teer their help on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Sadly, many fam­i­lies are strug­gling to put food on the ta­ble. Peo­ple on low in­comes, a sud­den cri­sis such as re­dun­dancy, ben­e­fit de­lay, un­ex­pected bills, as well as the in­creas­ing costs of fuel and food, means that many are go­ing hun­gry ev­ery day.

The Food­bank aims to pro­vide three days of emer­gency food suf­fi­cient for the fam­ily unit. It op­er­ates on a voucher sys­tem, with clients be­ing re­ferred to one of four distri­bu­tion cen­tres.

Re­quests for help are di­rected through a num­ber of pro­fes­sional agen­cies such as So­cial Ser­vices, Ci­ti­zens Ad­vice Bureau, Job Cen­tre, etc. All food is ob­tained through or­gan­ised su­per­mar­ket col­lec­tions or sim­ply do­nated by a gen­er­ous pub­lic.

A num­ber of Orton Ro­tar­i­ans of­fer their help at the West­gate Distri­bu­tion Cen­tre, which is open ev­ery Satur­day. In ad­di­tion food items are col­lected ev­ery week at the club’s lunchtime meet­ings. Not con­tent with that, mem­bers do­nated Christ­mas presents to be handed out to the chil­dren of Food­bank clients. They knew that if par­ents can barely af­ford food to put on the ta ble, the chances are presents would have been pretty scarce.

It was an ab­so­lute de­light to be able to bring a lit­tle bit of ex­tra hap­pi­ness for th­ese chil­dren – so much more re­ward­ing than giv­ing se­cret Santa sur­prises to each other!

Lit­tle Car­los ( pic­tured), aged 8, was thrilled with his ‘ Hot Wheels’, say­ing “Wow– just what I wanted – I saw it on TV.” Doesn’t that just make it all worth­while?

For de­tails of how you can help visit www. peter­bor­ough. food­bank. org. uk – you could help re­store dig­nity and re­vive hope for a fam­ily at a time of great need.

To find out more about Ro­tary visit the web­site ( de­tails in the header) or con­tact me by email.

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