Deal Foodbank

Sheila Ward moved to Deal in 1976 and “would never move away”. Which is good news for all of us within the community of delightful Deal as her work with the local foodbank is invaluable.


Sheila can hardly stop herself waxing lyrical about the town she loves stating how there “is a tremendous amount of goodwill, and so many voluntary groups that run in our community. The townspeople, the businesses, schools, churches, volunteers, the list is endless, and inspires us. We would aspire to live in a country without the need for foodbanks but until then, my thanks to everyone who supports us in this aspiration”.


CommunityAd had the pleasure of a chat with Sheila about her indispensable work.


So, Sheila, how long have you been involved with the Foodbank?

I became involved with Deal Foodbank right at the beginning in 2012, and was a volunteer at one of our foodbanks in Deal, moving the following year to lead the warehouse team. 6 years ago, I became Project Coordinator, a job that I love. The volunteers are incredibly committed (over 70 of them) an extremely diverse and talented bunch. Whether humping crates in the huge warehouse, meeting those in need at our foodbanks or supporting us in various admin, trustee and other roles, they frequently still amaze me with their energy and enthusiasm.

Foodbanks have become a familiar sight in every town and city in the UK. Deal Foodbank is linked to the Trussell Trust, which supports over 700 foodbanks in Britain. A sobering fact. Decades of underfunding, rising house prices and rentals, the huge growth in zero hours contracts, low pay etc result in many families continually robbing Peter to pay Paul… do they eat or heat?


For those readers considering getting involved why and how can they do so?

In 2022, we are operating a new service, having raised enough money to buy and specially commission a very large van to use as a mobile foodbank, to serve some of the villages where public transport is scarce. All our foodbanks operate to help and support those in the most need to move away and forward, by providing them with information and direct links to agencies that can help them to have a positive outcome. The Chinese proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and he is fed for life”, is so true!


Volunteers are always welcome at Deal Foodbank and with so many different roles to fulfil there’ll be something for you to help with. Phone Sheila on 01304 728428 to find out more, or visit the website.

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