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INSPIRE Awards 2016: food bank's battles show passion for those in need

Swanley Foodbank in Kent is going from strength to strength, thanks to its volunteer manager Wendy Halford, says the man who has nominated her for an Inspire Award

Swanley Foodbank in Kent is going from strength to strength, thanks to its volunteer manager Wendy Halford, says the man who has nominated her for an Inspire Award ...

There have been some challenging moments for Wendy Halford since she took on the role of manager of Swanley and District Foodbank in March 2015.

The biggest was when the local council gave them notice on the high street property they were using and they had to find somewhere else fast.

Wendy found their current premises but had to negotiate hard to secure it in more ways than one.

“It was in a bad state of repair and had no lock on the front door. We had a week to get partitions and racks up so we had somewhere to put the tons of stock that we had previously stored at another site.

“We were operating the foodbank from outside the premises for a short while!”

Swanley and District Foodbank is run by around 30 volunteers, mainly from churches in the local area and is part of the Trussell Trust network of foodbanks.

“Since April 2016 we have fed 79 children and 152 adults and have given away two-and-a-half tons of food,” says Wendy, a former catering manager at a private school.

“Some families receive five or six bags of food when they were just expecting a tin of beans or something.  Thanks to other people’s generosity we are able to give them so much more.

“We often deliver food to people who don’t have the transport to get to us.”

Wendy believes God has brought her into this work and that the team is helping to change people’s lives.

“I do say we can offer hope that is more than just food.

“We always open in prayer and give out Christian literature and we also have a prayer board where people can pin up requests.”

Graham Withers who has nominated Wendy for an Inspire Award says: “The area in which the foodbank operates is the most impoverished in the Sevenoaks District Council area. Wendy and her team provide an invaluable service to the local community.”

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