At the very beginning of the pandemic crisis in March, when others didn’t even seem to know it was time to scratch their heads, let alone show some leadership and organisational skill, Shaun Moffat realised there would be a need to support those in the village who might not be as independent as others. Those who might be vulnerable or at a disadvantage in some way. His efforts along with Sharon Bonner’s and a host of others established the Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group which has morphed into the Bildeston Foodbank. The village network has supported the venture in so many ways, but most credit needs to be given where it is truly due, Shaun and Sharon.
Recently Chris Clarke visited the foodbank and got an insight into its organisation. She wrote on the Facebook Noticeboard:-
I was invited to view the Bildeston Food Bank during a trip to collect much needed food for a couple of people. Shaun Moffat met me there after Sharon Bonner had done the initial part of letting Shaun know help was needed. I was overwhelmed by the stock and the selection of goods given to those that need it, the confidentiality and the “No Questions “ asked policy is just incredible. Their policy is that no one must be hungry, whatever their circumstances, income, gender, colour or background. It’s a very much needed and well used facility and may it continue for a very long time. It would be a big loss to a lot of families and individuals if it were to close. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Shaun, Sharon, Elspeth, Georgia and Elaine and Jim and anyone else that helps, I say Thank You for making sure that Everyone has some Dinner. I’m sure they would like more help and I know carrier bags are needed. Bildeston is proud of you all.
Many commented on Bildeston Noticeboard supporting Chris’ piece and Shaun posted his own item:
Bildeston Food Bank is now looking after 9 families from in and around Bildeston. Please, if any of you keen gardeners and allotmenteers have any spare fresh fruit
and veg, pass it our way. It would be wonderful to include a little fresh produce in with our food parcels. You can either message us and we can collect or leave your
produce in the collection bin outside 9-11 Duke Street. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us with food and financial donations. Please understand this means SO MUCH to the people who need it.
It is timely for all of us, like Chris, to thank the team publicly for the speed in turning the idea into action and getting such a system established so quickly and so well. To thank them for their continued efforts in maintaining such wide ranging stocks of food and other essential items and for creating the effective communication between suppliers, deliveries and those in need. As we enter Autumn and the flu season, we know the risks around Covid-19 remain all around us. Indeed, we now have the rule of 6 and the revised mantra: HANDS – FACE – SPACE. We must stay as vigilant and careful as we have been since March. The impact of the virus on some people’s daily lives has ranged from mildy frustrating to utterly catastrophic. The need for the foodbank has not diminished, with 9 families benefitting from it every week. Perhaps the most positive impact has been the example shown by the Foodbank operators. Their thoughtfulness, care and kindness is an inspiration to us all. Thank you.