Since it started up less than two weeks ago a food distribution scheme running out of Ramsgate has collected and delivered more than 14 tonnes of food.
Six Ramsgate Town Council staff, with input from town clerk Richard Styles, and community volunteers including Councillor Becky Wing, are supplying necessities at sites across the isle using Radford House – the former fire station in Effingham Street – as a central depot.
The team is working with Sharon Goodyer from Our Kitchen and other local groups as it collects food and takes it to locations including Salvation Army, The Gap – Broadstairs, St Austin & St Gregory’s Margate as well as dozens of individuals.
The team has also been delivering ’emergency’ coronavirus information editions of The Isle of Thanet News which contains helplines, groups and other useful details.
The work is to receive funding from county councillor Karen Constantine.
Mr Styles said: “Every day we are collecting food from Ashford and distributing it to all parts of Thanet. Only Birchington is not getting a service, so we would like the food bank there to contact RTC via the website and we will see how we can get food delivered there.
“All the voluntary groups run by the Salvation Army, various local churches and parish councils are cooperating effectively with RTC. It is, in the words of Captain Mainwaring from Dads Army, becoming a ‘smooth well-oiled machine’.
“We are cooperating with out of district voluntary groups, such as food banks, to supply fresh food in exchange for much needed tinned goods. We are being flexible and taking up every opportunity to deliver a better service.
“The NHS frontline is getting deliveries of biscuits, such as gingerbread men, to keep morale up for those doing such an important job for everyone.
“All six of the RTC technicians have been deployed to help with this effort and they deserve the community’s praise in working during this difficult period.”
The Our Kitchen team is also making food deliveries to households in areas across Thanet. Keep up to date with their deliveries here
The RTC food distribution hub now needs:
Good quality food donations. Tinned goods, ready meals etc.
Easter eggs to be supplied to families to deliver a bit of cheer to those who need it
Donations or sale at cost from any local restaurants or catering establishments with food in storage
Volunteers with catering skills to portion out some large quantity food stuffs such as meat or cheese. This can be done safely at Radford House.
Volunteer van drivers/owners to deliver goods to drop off points in Thanet, which will free RTC vans for other work.
Donations from supermarkets that have food about to go out of date
Mr Styles added: “Everyone in Thanet who needs it and has contacted the voluntary bodies, is getting a delivery of food. We are extending our kindness and community spirit right across Thanet without exception and I want that made clear to everyone.”