There’s been a Foodbank collection point at Allendale Co-op for some years now. But the need has not diminished; rather it’s grown — over the past six months and into this summer the West Northumberland Food Bank based in Hexham has fed some 350 children throughout Tynedale.
In addition to the local churches which support the Foodbank, at least two other local groups actively provide food and support items: the Knit and Crochet Group; the local Labour Supporters Group. No doubt there are others, as well as individuals who help when they can.
Just like the challenge of rural homelessness, we often don’t see the issue of deprivation out in the sticks, perhaps because folks are so proud and loathe to admit to need. But the need is certainly there, and no more so than during the school holidays.
Cash donations are always welcome too, but the best way to do that is to pop in to the distribution point in Hexham and physically hand over some notes. They’re open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 10-12, and they’re in Unit 2, The Adapt Enterprise Hub, Burn Lane.
I dropped into the facility last Friday morning to see if some fresh potatoes from our little 40 square meter patch, which is well into its productive season now, would be useful. There’s too many for us to eat, that’s for sure (so far we’ve managed to consume the yield from about 5 plants, but there are 235 still flourishing!), and if my fun preparing the patch could go to the general good, even better.
And I did manage to contribute some 10kilos of Charlotte, and another 10kilos of Nicola, our second early crop, leaving fully half of their rows left to harvest for ourselves. That was fun, digging potatoes for someone else!