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Food banks on the front line

As Christmas nears and the financial plight of many families grows, New Forest Colten Care homes are helping foodbanks to battle the surge in demand

Colten Care and food banks

It is well known that during the first Lockdown there was a surge in demand from food banks. Now local care home provider Colten Care is joining in to help families and individuals in desperate need this winter. Colten Care is inviting donors to drop off food in collection boxes at all 21 of its homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex, and its Colten House head office in Ringwood. The donations are being distributed to food banks battling to meet the never-ending growth in demand from families facing financial hardship and food poverty.

Mark Aitchison, Colten Care’s Chief Executive, said: “One consequence of Covid-19 and lockdowns has been that many food banks have seen a drop in donations while need has increased.

“We have therefore decided that in the run-up to Christmas, our homes will be helping to collect donations on behalf of their local food banks.

“People can simply come with food items and put them in a collection box near our reception or front door.

“We will gather and take the items to the local food bank who will then include them in the food parcels they provide to their clients.

“This initiative is a way we can support vulnerable families and individuals in the communities we serve during the pandemic.”

As well as providing collection boxes, Colten Care is donating food directly and inviting its regular suppliers to do the same.

New Forest Basics Bank appreciates the support!

Now comes a timely reminder that our local food bank New Forest Basics Bank has been providing an ever greater number of parcels of vital supplies, to an increasing number of families and individuals asking for help. 

Oliver Stanley, chairman of the Lymington-based New Forest Basics Bank, said: “We are bowled over and very grateful to Colten Care for their support. They are such a well-known and respected name in and around Lymington and we’re thrilled they have joined forces with us. We have a continual need to source food. We’re currently working with around 100 families a week, providing them with enough food to see them through. Food banks here in the New Forest and elsewhere are seeing a surge in demand due to the impact of ongoing lockdown restrictions, rising mass unemployment and household financial crises.”

The need grows inexorably: six parcels are being given out every minute, across the UK

The Trussell Trust, another of the food bank networks being supported by Colten Care, recently released a report about the impact of coronavirus on the use of food banks nationally.  It showed families with children had been hardest hit by food poverty since the start of the pandemic.

The Trust forecasts a 61% increase in demand this winter, with six emergency parcels needing to be given out every minute across the UK.   

Items most requested by food banks typically include tinned fruit, tinned meat, cereal, soup, pasta, washing-up liquid, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes and pet food. Donations must be in-date and non-perishable.

Support New Forest Basics Bank in the most convenient way to you

To donate to the food bank appeal, all Colten Care homes are hosting collection boxes and are delighted to accept donations, so people can simply turn up and put items in the box. (See New Forest Colten Care homes below.)

Of course, you can also make a donation direct to New Forest Basics Bank - please click here if you'd like to go straight to the donation page.

And remember when shopping at Waitrose or Tesco, to collect extra items as you shop, you can then for convenience deposit in the trolley on the way out!

In the photo above: with the collection box at Colten Care’s Colten House head office in Ringwood are Chief Executive Mark Aitchison, left, and Fergus Davitt, Hotel Services Manager. 

Find out more about Colten Care's New Forest homes online

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It has 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care.

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home... 

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst