Before the pandemic, Food for Thought, which runs out of Maidstone Day Centre, were producing 150 food parcels on average in any given month, but at the beginning of 2021 that number had risen to over 600.
The food bank is part of Homeless Care, a charity that has been working in Maidstone for over 33 years supporting the homeless and vulnerable.
Homeless Care’s main activity is a comprehensive service for homeless men and women at Maidstone Day Centre. They also manage Goodsell House, a shared house for homeless men, that was gifted to the charity by a local philanthropist.
CommunityAd were lucky enough to speak to Day Centre Manager, Matt Lamb, about the vital work the charity carries out in the community, and how our readers might be able to give something back.
“We really started seeing the drastic effect of COVID-19 from November onwards, there was a massive increase in people needing help from us at the end of 2020.
“It’s an incredibly busy time as you can imagine, with people losing jobs and struggling. If we are able to step in and help even a little bit it means a lot to us, we rely heavily on donations from the public, food or money, everything is really appreciated.
“We can source food for a lot cheaper than supermarkets, so we have better control of what we are handling with financial donations and we can buy what we need. A £5 donation can be turned into two trays of food to get out to families in crisis.
“We accept all donations and we’ve been very lucky with people donating winter clothing and camping equipment, so much so we don’t have enough room for any more, which is a good thing. Food can be donated and we keep things as safe as possible with the current restrictions.
“Financial donations and how to donate details can be found on the website and any fundraising is massively welcome, if people are thinking about doing something with a fundraiser, we can arrange our logo to be attached and we would fully support that.
“Anything that comes in keeps us ticking by, without it we just couldn’t function.
“The future of the world is very much going to shape the future of Maidstone Day Centre; we will be prepared to help people who might lose their support.”