A bag full of food staples and Christmas treats were put together by members of Henley Lions on Sunday morning at Henley YMCA in their pavilion. This is the 20th consecutive year that the Lions have provided the food parcels with no break even during the pandemic.
Seven Lion members packed 95 bags in about an hour and other members then delivered them to 78 addresses in and around Henley. Larger families received two bags. The bags contained items that could make a meal such as steak and kidney pie, tin peaches and custard along with cheese and biscuits, a chocolate orange, box of mints and mince pies.
Pam Pitts who has been organising the initiative for the last 8 or so years said, “I go to Tesco in Henley in October and choose the contents and ask that I have a named person as a contact. Ed this year was great and was there from the beginning to the end. He made sure that when the stock came in it was separated from the general stock and he even drove the delivery van on Sunday.”
The parcels are delivered to people who are known to be in need. Pam explained, “Every year we check our historical list with the doctors’ surgeries in Henley and Nettlebed and ask for any referrals. We get referrals also through from Citizen’s Advice and other people come from neighbours particularly for elderly people who are on their own who don’t seem to have relatives close by.”
Pam thinks that the initiative is still important despite the Henley foodbank run by Nomad. She added, “We’re not as big as Nomad but I think it is important as some people only get parcels from us. We have had a few families come through Citizen’s Advice this year. We also get some lovely thank you cards in January from recipients which shows how appreciative people are. I’d like to thank the YMCA for giving the hall again free of charge.”