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Stratford couple offer lockdown help by running their own mini foodbank

A COUPLE are running their own mini foodbank providing essential items to Stratford people who need a helping hand during the pandemic.

Abi Sloan-Saunders and her husband Mark Saunders started the service during the first lockdown, giving neighbours in Loxley Road – and anyone who needs help – the chance to pick up food and other items from a cabinet on the edge of their property.

Abi, 40, and her family moved to Stratford about this time last year. She said when lockdown hit, she wanted to start something in the community.

After putting flyers through the doors of 20 of the nearest properties offering help, Abi settled on the foodbank idea.

“I came across some websites in America where they had converted postboxes and I thought that’s a really nice idea, so I instructed my husband that I wanted to do something similar,” said Abi, who works as a teaching assistant at the Evergreen School in Warwick.

Mark found a cabinet online and when the seller found out what they intended to use it for, she gave it to the family for free.

“We made a gap and put it in the hedge and have been filling it up with essentials, so we’ve got toilet roll, beans and paracetamol every so often and bits and pieces.

“There are people that use it. There’s been some nice messages – we got a little sleigh and a card a few days ago saying, ‘Thank you, you gave me a Christmas’, which was quite emotional.”

Abi, who has three children, regularly restocks the foodbank and said others in the community had also added items.

“I think it’s mainly people along Loxley Road who use it and they are being quite mindful when they take items,” she said.

“I just wanted to help in a little way. It was just a horrible feeling that you’re on a street with somebody who is too scared to go to the shops or is too proud to ask for help.”

n Let us know what’s going on in your part of south Warwickshire to support the community during lockdown. Email news@stratford-herald.com.

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