Thanet Food Link celebrates 10th anniversary of helping people on the isle

Founding members Debbie Ellisdon, Bridget McCabe and Gill Trumble

A food bank set up in 2013 and aimed at ‘helping people out’ for a few years has celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Thanet Food Link  was started by the late Paul Trumble with a vision of helping those out who were struggling.

But the short-term solution became a long-term project, particularly as the covid pandemic hit in 2020 followed by the current cost of living crisis.

Gill cuts the cake

Food link member Julie Wickenden said: “From distributing around 300 food parcels a month, we are currently distributing around 1,000 – the same number as during the first covid 19 lockdown when all shops closed.

“TFL had given out close to 40,000 parcels in 10 years.”

The food bank runs thanks to the effort of around 50 volunteers heading up operations at St Paul’s Church in Cliftonville and , since the pandemic, also at St Peters Baptist Church thanks to resident Kate Grant.

Julie said: “Demand reduces a little bit when people are not paying for heating so it eases off in Summer but then September and October people are having to pay for energy and back to school so there are extra costs like uniforms.”

Photo Rob Yates

Supporters, workers and volunteers at the food bank sites were celebrated on Saturday with tea and cake hosted at St Pauls Church with Gill Trumble, wife of founding member Paul.

The many volunteers and supporters were thanked and special gifts were given to founding members Debbie and Patrick Ellisdon (pictured below) who have coordinated the operation for 10 years but will soon be moving to a parish in Canterbury.

Thanet Food Link became a charity in 2016 and takes referrals from agencies working with people in need including children’s centres, support agencies, schools, associations supporting disabled people, community centres and NHS Health Trainers as well as enquiries from those in need.

After registering, the charity provides a minimum of three days emergency food.

The easiest way to register is to come to one of the sites below during distribution times:

St Pauls Church, Cliftonville CT9 2RD

Monday 10.30am – 12 noon

Tuesday 10.30am – 12 noon

Thursday 10.30am – 12 noon

St Peters Baptist Church CT10 2SG

Friday 10.30am – 12 noon

People can donate food, money or time as a  volunteer:

Find out more at

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