Midhurst foodbank founders presented with award for exceptional services to the community

The founders of the Midhurst Foodbank have been presented with an award by the Rotary Club of Midhurst and Petworth.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:58 pm
Mike and Chrissie Abbott with their awards

Mike and Chrissie Abbott were presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship, which recognises exceptional service to the local community.

A Rotary spokesman said: “Mike and Chrissie are certainly local heroes to all the needy families that have been supported since they launched Midhurst Foodbank and deserve to be recognised!”

During a Q&A session held via zoom, Rotary club members heard how the foodbank was established in late 2014, starting out with 35 volunteers and supporting 119 families in its first 12 months.

Six years later, they have 77 volunteers who supported 710 families in a 12 month period.

Food can be donated at many places locally including Sainsbury’s, Tescos, Marks and Spencer’s and Boots.

The pandemic has changed the way the foodbank operates, with arrangements carried out by phone and all family donations delivered directly to the family.

At Christmas, 170 food parcels were delivered to families whose children receive free school meals, with the same number due to be supplied during the Easter holidays.

Mike and Chrissie handed over the management role to Liz Willings and Karen Lovett in late 2019, but continue to be actively involved, with Chrissie running one of the weekly teams who take donation requests and organising the teams to deliver them.