Greetings from the Stoud District Foodbank Team. Please read below for our latest news, and thank you for your support during the past year.
Following a very successful Harvest and Christmas campaign we find ourselves in the enviable position of reaching capacity in the warehouse. This is something to be thankful for, but does pose some operational challeng- es. Even with a busy winter we have sufficient stock to cover a few months of demand. So we gently point out that it would be of most help to us to not receive food donations in the short term. We will send out a shopping list as soon as there are obvious shortages.
By the time you are reading this article, Ali Kennedy (our committee member who plans and delivers those wonderful meals at the Murder Mystery Evenings and other Link events) and Chris will be in Nkokoto and Urambo meeting with Stima and representatives of Urambo District Council to discuss how the Link is going to progress its projects for the village, schools and Folk Development College (FDC.)
We have some good news!!
The struggling commercial arm of Traidcraft, has unveiled a new plan to help stave off closure. The workforce of Traidcraft plc will shrink from 67 to 12 under the blueprint. Twenty two people have already accepted voluntary redundancy.
The proposals, which have been approved by the organisation's board, are due to come into effect next year. Chief executive officer, Robin Roth said: "A couple of people came forward with plans. We've got some outside help, we've got a lot of support from people who really value Traidcraft and we think we've got a plan that can take us forward. We've been through the value and we're now coming out in the uplands, it seems."
The changes - designed to reverse losses - will weed out product ranges which are not generating profit.
Since 1979, Traidcraft plc has sold Fairtrade coffee, sugar and chocolate - as well things such as rugs and baskets from Bangladesh. In September, the organisation warned recent poor trading threatened to force the closure of Traidcraft plc in its entirety.
As I write for this December edition, I cannot yet give you the figures raised from the Traidcraft Christmas fair…but thank you to all who attended and to all the volunteers. We have always been a super trader for Traidcraft !!
As I hinted in last month’s magazine, Traidcraft will almost certainly cease trading by the end of the year. Since 1979, Traidcraft has sold goods sourced in developing countries and has pioneered the notion of fair trade . It has sold coffee, tea, sugar, honey etc …all sourced fairly….with most products being sold in UK schools and churches such as ours. Now, however, this model is no longer viable.
The November meeting of the Minchinhampton WI took place on Nov 7th. Despite the wet weather, we had an excellent attendance to support our AGM. An appreciation and thank you was given to the President and her committee. The usual agenda was addressed and venues were arranged for lunch, scrabble and craft. We celebrated two birthdays and welcomed two new members to our group. Christmas festivities were discussed.
We were treated to a delightful recital of anthology by various members and refreshments were served. Do come and join us for fun and friendship. We have a very exciting programme planned for 2019
A very successful ‘Fish & Chip Supper with Quiz’ was held in the church on November 17th—the first event of this kind to be held in the reordered space.
There were 12 teams (of varying sizes) and all enjoyed supper from the fish and chip van, positioned at the lychgate, before embarking on the 4 rounds of questions delivered by Brian with his wife, Jane, doing the scoring. There were questions relating to birds, countries, general knowledge, music and some of a cryptic nature. The winning team, who won bottles of wine, was led by Peter Lapping. There followed a raffle before the whole area was cleared and prepared for the service the next morning.
Unfortunately, my January report got lost in the ethers between Box and Minchinhampton, never to be seen again! I am sure you all missed it!
It’s a long time ago, but at our AGM in November; we were struggling to form a Committee and were facing the possibility of closure! However, the troops rallied
around in true WI tradition and we are now viable again; but we do need new members, as our numbers are dwindling!
Imagine if no matter how hard you worked today, you couldn't afford to put food on the table.
For millions of people around the world, that's the reality they face. A fair income gives you freedom, security and hope for the future. It allows you to feed your family and educate your children. That is the power of trade done well.
But unfair trade amplifies poverty. It makes the rich richer and leaves the poor behind.
Traidcraft Exchange exists to do two things...
- To support people to harness the benefits of trade
- To fight against injustice in global trade
It's a simple mission, but it is changing lives all over the world. As you know, Traidcraft has been downsized and many items will not now be available to buy.
What does this mean for us in Minchinhampton?
We will continue to hold monthly stalls for the foreseeable future....although the range of items may be reduced.
Our next will be on Sunday February 17th in the porch room after the 10am service.
Thank you for continuing to support Traidcraft.
Jackie Natt 01453 731018.
What do you know about Tanzania?
Tanzania is 6,000 miles from the UK and has a fabulously varied culture. Kiswahili is the common language, English is the official language of government, but many people living in the rural areas of Tanzania away from the main cities speak their own tribal language too. Here are some facts about Tanzania that might surprise you and could have been useful for the after dinner quiz on Christmas Day:
Dodoma is the capital city, not Dar es Salaam. Tanzania has borders with eight countries - Kenya (to the northeast) and Mozambique (to the southeast), Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
Tanzania is made up of three geographical regions: the islands and coastal plains in the east (where Masasi is), a saucer-shaped plateau in the centre and west (where Nkokoto is), and the highlands in the northeast.
Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa standing at 5,895m, lies in these north-eastern highlands. Another special geographical feature is the Great Rift Valley, which cuts through the centre of the country.
The school year is coming to an end (the school year in Tanzania is January to December – much more sensible than the UK system!) – and the fourth year students that the Link has sponsored – Julius, Senga, Yona, Dekasi, Bertha, Edina, Irene and Judith - will be leaving Vumilia Secondary School.
Hopefully, some may move on to higher education to complete their A levels. I will contact the sponsors of these eight students to ask whether the sponsorship can be transferred to one of the new year 1 students who will move from Nkokoto Primary School to Vumilia Secondary School in January.
Arriving upstairs at the Country Market on a Thursday morning, the customer finds an almost bewildering array of goods, all home made and locally sourced in one way or another, from individually crafted and unique greeting cards, to colourful toiletry bags; from Seville marmalade to hearty casseroles; from Gloucestershire honey to baskets of hyacinths; from buttery mincepies to home made Christmas cakes and puddings; from delicious loaf cakes to savoury cheese straws.
A month by month breakdown showed that the unusually cold spring months contributed to this increase, whereas the warm dry summer saw numbers drop on the previous year. As we enter the winter months we anticipate that need will rise again especially amongst those facing insecure work, debt and changing benefit payments.
We are in healthy shape in the warehouse following the Harvest period, over 100 schools and churches from the district held celebrations and donated over 7 tonnes of food and toiletries. This will provide much needed stock for the colder months.
Our annual Tesco Food Collection will be held in the Cam and Stroud stores on Thursday 29th November through 1st December, this collection helps us stock up with seasonal items that will be used to make over 400 Christmas Hampers. We'll also be presenting some of the entries to our Mascot competition.
The Stroud based Tesco stores are also currently hosting the Foodbank as one of the options for the blue tokens, if you happen to shop there, do please consider supporting us! Thank You!