Overwhelming support for local Foodbanks
On Thursday 23 April, Reigate Grammar School was transformed into a drive-through drop-off point for donations of food, toys, puzzles, books and games, thanks to a team of volunteers from St Matthew’s Church, Redhill Foodbank and Loveworks.
Since the Covid-19 crisis hit, donations at local foodbanks has dropped significantly, whilst demand has risen dramatically.
Over 200 families – staff, parents, current and former students – drove through the playground to drop off their contributions to help struggling families. Many cars contained donations from several households collected from their street or other RGS families, while others dropped off on foot.
Donations were flooding in from 9am until 5pm and a total of three school minibuses were filled with food and other essentials – an amazing achievement!
The operation was staffed by volunteers from Redhill and Reigate Mutual Aid (a group set up by Susan Gregory in response to the crisis), as well as staff and ex-students from the school and Foodbank volunteers.
Social distancing was maintained at all times, with hazard tape used to mark out drop-off zones and donors remaining in their cars while goods were removed from their boot.
Liz Wheeler from the St Matthew’s Food Bank who came up with the idea, said:
“A big thank you to Reigate Grammar School for being the first to pilot the scheme. The response has been overwhelming. These much-needed donations will make a huge difference to Foodbank clients who are struggling at this very difficult time.”
Susan Gregory from Reigate and Redhill Mutual Aid added:
“The Foodbank came to us with this terrific idea of holding a drive-through donations drop and we were only too keen to provide volunteers to help. This is a brilliant example of the local community coming together in a positive way to help those in need and I hope it will be a legacy after this crisis.”
Sean Davey, Head of the RGS Foundation said:
“When the opportunity arose to provide our school facilities for food bank donations, we jumped at the chance. Our brilliant staff, ex-students and parent volunteers were amazing and I’m pleased that we were able to encourage our school community to fill three minibuses of much-needed food for vulnerable people in need in the local area. Today was a huge success and we were thrilled to be part of it.”
Caroline Lawson, Assistant Head at Reigate Grammar School said:
“We had a tremendous turn out from our local families to support the initiative. We collected far more food and items than we had anticipated and we are so thankful for the generosity of all our parents and the RGS community at this difficult time.”
The combined local foodbanks may hold other donation days in the near future. If you don’t currently receive our RGS We Care email newsletters and would like to stay up-to-date with community initiatives, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.