Thank you – and please keep voting!

This is wonderful news! The local Food Parcels team would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us recently on the Co-op Communtiy page! Your votes have helped us to raise £1,171.07 so far, to help feed local families in crisis.

Please keep voting! Every vote for St Mary’s means more funding for the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project. We need as many votes as possible before 24th October 2024, to secure further funding from the Co-op community fund for winter 2024. Please choose us as your local cause here: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/76829

Community Forum: Would you like to talk to the community team have your say? Co-op is hosting a community forum on 21st March at the Ash Parish Centre. Local people are welcome to join in and share their views. Book your place and join in to find out more by clicking on this link: Your local Coop Community forum for Ash and the surrounding villages (smartsurvey.co.uk)

Thank you for your support!

Harvest Thanks to everyone at St Mary’s!

The local Food Parcels team would like to say a big Harvest Festival *THANK YOU* to everyone at St Mary’s church, and everyone who dropped off their wonderful food donations for the harvest collection there.  This amazing generosity is what helps the project to keep going and enables us to keep helping families in need.  These donations are a big blessing.  

Thanks to Revd Neil Lambert, these lovely tins and packets, toiletries and treats have now been packed, collected and transported, and are now safely on the shelves at the #AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject and will go out in the food parcels in the next week or two. Thank you all so much for your support! It really matters, and every tin makes a difference. 

We wish you a blessed and happy Autumn!

#AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject 

Thank you Puttenham Infant School!

The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to all the pupils, staff and families at Puttenham Infant School. Your wonderful Harvest donations are a huge blessing and will be a great help to local families in the coming weeks. Look at these shelves in the photo – what a lot of lovely food you have donated!

The team were very busy on Wednesday putting everything away, ready for the next set of parcels which will be going out on Friday morning. By this time next week your tins and packets, pasta and sauces, beans and spaghetti hoops, and all the goodies you sent will be on their way to our neighbours in need in our local villages. Thank you so much, what an amazing way to celebrate Harvest Festiveal.

We wish you a super term full of blessings, and thank you again for all your generous gifts.

From all of us at The Chapel and Ash Villages Food Parcels Project

Thank you Wyke Primary Academy! 

We were delighted to receive the amazing harvest donations from Wyke Primary Academy this week. Huge thanks to all the students, families and staff at the school. It was amazing to see all the donations arrive, and we could see that a lot of thought that went into what everyone donated. 

We will be delivering food parcels to lots of local families this week with your donations in them. How wonderful that your generosity is helping people who live nearby. It’s a great way to be good neighbours and make sure that no one in our community goes hungry. 

Best wishes and heartfelt thanks to you all from all of us at the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project. 


Egg boxes!

Would you like to be more eco-friendly and help out the local Ash Villages Food Parcels Project at the same time? We urgently need your egg boxes please – the small ones that hold 6 eggs – for us to use with the food parcels. We buy our eggs in bulk to keep the cost down, as funding is VERY tight, but we can only do it if we have enough egg boxes to put them in. So please donate your SMALL egg boxes to us and we will use them again! You can drop them off in the community shed in the chapel car park any time 24/7 and we will be very grateful! Thank you!!

with much love to all our neighbours from the Ash Villages Food Parcels Team

SPARKS funding for Ash Villages Food Parcels Project

Just like so many other charities, churches and community projects, the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project is suffering from a reduction in donations of food, toiletries and funds as everyone adjusts their budgets to get through the cost of living crisis. We are doing all we can to keep costs very tightly controlled and have been more public about asking for help on social media recently. However, funding is very tight and we are in need of more help to keep the service going for as long as it is needed.

Today we are delighted to share some good news – the SPARKS fund has awarded us enough funds to fill our food parcels for 5 weeks! The SPARKS fund is part of Voluntary Action South West Surrey, helping communities impacted by covid19 and its wider impact on health and wellbeing. This is a very welcome grant indeed, and will make a huge difference to the local people we support in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. Every parcel is a response to help a person or family in crisis, and every penny of this grant will be providing food and essential toiletries to those in need in the coming weeks.

We hope that all our friends and neighbours in the local area will keep the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project in your thoughts and prayers as we head towards autumn and winter. Please do get in touch if you would like to volunteer, donate or collect tins at your school / company / club / church / shop / and please keep us in mind especially as Harvest Festival approaches. We would be very grateful for any contributions of store cupboard foods, essential toiletries or indeed funds which we use to buy supplies in bulk. We also accept donations online via Give a Little here:

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c

Thank you for your support and wishing you a wonderful summer,

Alex & Carla

#AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject #FoodBank #AshVale #AshGreen #Tongham #Ash #Community

Contact us about the project: 07730 609446 / foodparcels@ash-vale.org.uk

What does the Food Parcels Project need? 

By Alexandra Sanderson 

We had a lovely enquiry today. A kind local resident keen to help the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project and wanting to know what items to give. He is not on social media, so needed a list that could be printed off to refer back to. I was delighted to oblige! 

Here is the list of the weekly items we use for a standard food parcel, to give you an idea of what you might donate: 

The tins we get through 30+ a week of each: 

Tomatoes / Sweetcorn / Baked beans / Tuna

Meat (curry or hotdogs or ham or mince etc)

Sweet (fruit / rice pud / custard etc)

Other staples we include every week are: 

Pasta (instant noodles are low cost to cook) 

Rice (microwave rice is low cost to heat)

Pasta sauce (again low cost to heat)

Tea / coffee / Sugar 

Uht milk & Cereal

Treats occasionally to bring a smile e.g. Biscuits / Jam / crisps

We also try to include fresh items to support healthier eating: 

Potatoes / Onions / Carrots / Apples / Eggs

Any of the above that you might like to donate would be much appreciated thank you. You could pick one item and donate a few of the same, or pick a couple of things from the list, or even pick one of each and donate the necessary for a whole weekly parcel. 

Alternatively you could choose to support with toiletries: & “Baby bank” items

Shower gel / Shampoo / Sanitary items / Soap

Nappies / baby wipes / Baby forumla / Baby food pouches

Laundry pods (we divide packs between families)

Pets: We also like to be able to give out cat food and dog food if people are able to donate those so that families can afford to keep much loved pets. 

Where to send things:

Donations can be dropped off at St Mary’s Church on Vale Rd, GU12 5JE whenever we are open. In the summer holidays Friday Cafe is open in August 10:00-13:00 and the church services are 10:30am-12:00.

You can also take donations directly to the team at the Chapel on Wharf Rd GU12 5AY, where we pack the parcels. The team is there packing parcels on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:45-9:45am or contact us to make other arrangements if these times don’t work for you. You can also choose to leave items in the community shed in our car park. Please clearly label the bag “Donation for the food parcels”.

Do you take donations of funds to? Yes please! If shopping is inconvenient we do also very gladly accept donations of funds. We can buy in bulk which keeps the cost down and makes your money go even further to feed more families.

You can donate by cash or cheque at St Marys’s church Ash Vale, which our Treasurer allocates to the restricted fund for food parcels – just write on the envelope or on the back of the cheque what the donation is for and Patrick ensures it goes in the righ account.

We can send you the details for a bank transfer or regular standing order if you prefer.  This just requires you to put “Food Parcels” as the reference so again Patrick can assign the funds to the right project.

For immediate online donations we have a church account with the “Give a little” donations platform and the link for the Food Parcels project is here: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c  this platform allows you to sign up for regular giving, or a one-off donation, whichever you would like to do.

Whatever you decide to do – thank you very much for your support!

If you’d like to know more please Contact: 07730609446

Ash Villages Food Parcels Project

By Alex Sanderson 

Did you know? This amazing local team of volunteers have been feeding people in need in our villages since April 2020!

How does St Mary’s fit in? St Mary’s is the local parish church in Ash Vale. As well as Sunday services, we love to serve our amazing community all week long! We host community groups – everything from toddlers to choir to Friday Community Cafe. Nearby, we work with the local Methodist Circuit to run the Chapel Project on Wharf Rd. We offer a Monday Chapel Cafe & warm hub there, host the Chapel Kids toddler group with lunch club, and provide summer picnics, monthly makes and other community, creativity and arts events. In these difficult times our most important project is the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project (and our Community Fridge opening Summer 2023). We work together with Carla Morson and a superb team of volunteers from both the church and the Ash Villages Support Circle, feeding 20-40 families every week. 

What does the project do? The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project serves our neighbours in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. We deliver emergency food and toiletries to local people in crisis, and offer a listening ear. Twice a week teams go out in the evening to collect donations of bread and perishables from the supermarkets and others shop for the best value items to top this up, to make a balanced food parcel. We add these to the food items donated by local people and then pack the parcels the following morning, ready to go out to local people in need. 

How do we help people? Our Food Parcels project helps local people in crisis, by providing emergency food and toiletries. This includes ‘baby bank’ items eg nappies. Referrals come from CAB, Wellbeing Team, Social Services, DWP and local churches too. As well as food, we offer a listening ear, and help to connect people to other sources of help, including Monday Chapel Cafe and local warm hubs. We are passionate about connecting with people to battle against the anxiety, isolation and mental strain that goes hand in hand with food poverty, not just providing a one-off parcel. The lovely thing is, that lots of people who receive a parcel later go on to volunteer or donate to help others once they are back on their feet. This community is truly amazing! 

How can local people help? We can all work together to help our neighbours. Our volunteers are amazing at what they do and we can always use more hands on deck. The other issue is of course funding. Typically we spend around £400 per week on basic essentials for the parcels, to top up what comes in as donated items. Please help us to keep the food parcels filled and keep the Chapel doors open for a warm welcome. Here’s the donations link: 

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c

You can donate once or sign up for a regular gift. If 100 people could regularly give £4 a week we could cover the food costs! Will you join us? 

You can also donate items for the parcels direct to us. We use the app called  “Bank the food” to let our supporters know what is most needed each week. You can text or phone us and ask if you’d like more information: 07730609446

Thank you for your support. It makes all the difference to local people in need. Let’s make sure we can proudly say that in our lovely community,  none of our neighbours go hungry. 

Thank you for your support. 

Alex