Isaac and Martha Peach

Food Bank Collectors

Isaac Peach, aged 12 and his sister Martha, aged 10, have lived in Peppard with their mum and dad for the past seven years. They are a public-spirited pair and during their summer holidays they decided to make a collection of basic food stuffs and other items for people less fortunate than themselves. They had heard about the Woodley Food Bank and set about involving their neighbours in a collection to boost the stocks there. They explained that while people think of giving food at Christmastime for those with limited means, it is actually the summertime when people’s needs can be greater. I wondered why and Isaac and Martha clearly explained that some people who regularly give to the Food Bank are away on holiday so fewer items are given and families whose children get free school meals can struggle to feed their children during the holidays.

Isaac & Martha PeachIsaac had assumed that the food and other items were needed by homeless people but has learned that even some working people can have little money left for food towards the end of the month once they have paid their rent or mortgage and other essential living costs. The children photocopied a leaflet from the Food Bank asking for donations of various tinned food, tea, coffee, rice, cereals and long-life milk as well as toiletries. They posted the leaflets through letterboxes in the village. The leaflet asked for some items from the list to be placed anonymously in a box which they left on the grass verge outside their house. That way the family would not be disturbed, and no one would be embarrassed if they could only afford a very modest donation. They drew different posters which they laminated and attached to the hedge above the box and checked the box regularly adding anything donated to their steadily growing pile of goods. Over a two-week period Isaac and Martha reckon about three-quarters of their neighbours responded and they collected about 40 different items which were gratefully received.

Encouraged by the success of their venture the children are already planning to make it a bigger event next summer by involving their friends’ and neighbours’ children, so the collection can be made over a wider area and therefore more can be collected. Well done Isaac and Martha! We look forward to reporting on next summer’s collection.

Sue Nickson