LODGE HELPS HARLOW FOOD CHARITY

Harlow Foodbank, dedicated to helping families in crisis for more than 10 years, has received a £1,000 donation from local Freemasons to help fund their vital work across West Essex.

The money was donated by members of Essex Border Lodge, which meets in Harlow, and will help the Foodbank edge a little closer to the money it needs each year to continue supporting families across the region. The £1,000, half of which came directly from members of Essex Border Lodge was made up with a match funded balance from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, which supports local charities and community based projects across the county.

“The money is very welcome,” said David Evans, Community Services Director, “and will enable us to continue our work. We are an organisation that helps people in crisis over that difficult first three week period until other agencies can take over and help those families get back on their feet. We normally look after around 350 people each week, a third of whom are children, but when the Covid-19 pandemic started in March that number shot up to over 900, which put us under an enormous strain so we are obviously very grateful for this support from Essex Freemasons.”

Harlow Foodbank was first established in 2009 and it is estimated that since its foundation it has supported more than 39,000 people, a third of whom are children. The majority of the food it distributes is supplied by local people who purchase it from supermarkets. Retailers such as Tesco, Asda, Poundland, UK Salads, Greenways eggs and others also support by supplying quantities of food from time to time.

“Essex Border Lodge is very much part of the local Community and this is the kind of charity that makes a real difference,” said Barry Circus. “It is something our members have wanted to support and I am delighted we have been able to help.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund which match funded the donation from Essex Border Lodge was set up to support projects such as Harlow Foodbank.

Neil Beverley, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, explained: “There are hundreds of small charities like this in every part of the County. They are vital to the needs of the local community and this is where we are trying to aim our support. The work of Harlow Foodbank cannot be underestimated, particularly in these difficult times and I am pleased it has the support of our members.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund is expecting to make donations of nearly £90,000 to local charities in 2020 in addition to nearly £1 million which will be given separately by more than 300 Lodges across the county.