Food entrepreneur Julianne Ponan has donated hundreds of snack bars to a local foodbank at a time when more and more people are needing that community service.
Julianne, aged 30, who lives in Waltham on Thames, runs Creative Nature which manufacturers free-from snacks in the UK and sells them nationwide and overseas. These products include bars, baking mixes and their latest ‘sweet’ product Gnawbles.
“At this time of crisis,” Julianne said. “I cannot help but think of those who are having to use a food bank and the way those numbers are likely to increase. As I have anaphylaxis and am allergic to many things, what about those who need to go to a food bank and then find they cannot consume a proportion of the products because they contain nuts or gluten?”
To date more than 600 bars have been delivered to the local Walton and Hersham foodbank to be distributed among their users – particularly those who suffer from food allergies.
Nina Malyon, manager of the food bank said: “We are so busy at the moment with so many more people needing our support and at a time when we are having to operate quite differently to protect our own volunteers.
“These products really will help us. We do have people who come along for food bags who have allergies and intolerances and we do our best to accommodate their needs, as we do with people who are vegan. However it can be a challenge. We’re so grateful to the Creative Nature team for thinking of us and supporting us at this time."
The foodbank, which is part of the national Trussell Trust network, is looking for donations of staple foods (including free-from versions) such as long-life milk, tinned meats/fish/fruit, pasta, rice and fruit juices.
Due to restrictions created by the Coronavirus, the food bank is operating a streamlined service and will be controlling when and where to make donations over the coming weeks.
Julianne said: “I’d urge anyone who wants to give to get in touch directly with the food bank team to understand exactly what they need, and what they don’t. If in doubt, anyone can donate money so that volunteers themselves can get the right products to the right people.”
To make a donation visit https://waltonhersham.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-money/
*Picture shows operations manager Matt Ford making a delivery to the food bank subject to strict Corona Virus protocols.
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