November 2023 – New faces, old faces and an amazing charity 


Even more breakfasters this month and an update on a charity we have been supporting for many years.

Update on a charity that has been running for 12 years

During our latest breakfast, speaker Mike Smith of the Stowmarket & Area Food Bank shed light on the growing demand for their services. He emphasized that the guiding principle of the charity is “People Helping People”. The numbers speak for themselves – the demand for food parcels doubled during and after Covid lockdowns. The charity now distributes an average of 150 food parcels per month, up from 60 before Covid.

Stowmarket & Area Foodbank

According to a recent report, in 2022, the charity was able to provide 1428 parcels, effectively feeding more than 3324 people.

People in need of assistance can receive a maximum of six food parcels a year, and they are referred by various agencies, including the CAB, Red Cross, job centres, the NHS, and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.

The parcels are assembled in a manner that caters to the specific needs of each family. The donations come from individuals and local supermarkets. There is also an option to donate cash via Kindlink.

Stowmarket & Area Foodbank Pop-Up Shop

The charity provides emergency services only but noticed that there was still a need for assistance even after families had received their allotted quota. As a solution, they have now started setting up pop-up shops and community supermarkets, which do not require any referrals. Shoppers can pay £1 and fill a bag with the items they need.

The Food Bank currently operates two mornings a week at the Catholic Centre located on Stricklands Road. They are currently putting together festive content for approximately 150 Christmas hampers. These hampers will contain special treats that people may not be able to afford otherwise. To learn more about how to donate and what items are needed for the Christmas hampers, please visit their website or check out their Facebook page.


For the future

Anyone who needs to refresh their Member Spotlight or has not yet been featured in a Member Spotlight on the website, please get in touch with publicity officer Alison Withers: [email protected]

Chairman Colin Tapscott is always happy to receive any suggestions for what members want to see the Chamber doing in the future. Please send your ideas (and your wish lists) to [email protected]


Dates for your diary:

Please check the website in case of any last-minute changes.

Christmas Networking and Shopping Coffee Morning Chamber Breakfast
The Mix Stowmarket
127 Ipswich Street
Stowmarket IP14 1BB
Brightside Wealth Management
Brightside House
7 Finborough Road
Stowmarket IP14 1PN
The Mix Stowmarket
127 Ipswich Street
Stowmarket IP14 1BB
or on Zoom
Friday, 8 December Friday, 5 January 2024 Friday, 19 January 2024
10.00 am to noon 10.00 am to noon  7.15 am to 9.00 am

For more information contact Keely Taylor

by phone: 01449 770965 or e-mail: [email protected].


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