‘We will keep helping families in crisis despite complaints’, Felpham mum says

Samantha with Olive Tree Cottage supporter Claire Marie Needs and two of her four children
Samantha with Olive Tree Cottage supporter Claire Marie Needs and two of her four children

A Felpham mum says she’s determined to continue helping struggling families despite a recent complaint.

For more than a year, Samantha Staniforth has been working with charity FairShare to collect surplus food from Tesco to hand out to those in need from her home, Olive Tree Cottage.

According to Samantha, one of her neighbours issued a complaint to FairShare and Arun District Council about the participation in the scheme from her Links Avenue home.

“Following this we have had a visit from a lovely lady who is the regional manager of the scheme,” Samantha said on her Olive Tree Cottage Facebook page.

“As the complaint was based on incorrect information we are pleased to report that Tesco and FairShare are satisfied that our participation in their scheme is fully compliant with the rules and we have been told to continue our good work.

“We shall indeed continue to help families in crisis, as we have been doing since April 2016, and we thank you all for your ongoing support.”

Mum-of-four Samantha’s post received a hugely positive reaction.

She told the Observer: “A family who received a bag of food from us sent me a message saying, ‘I was so ashamed to ask, but without your kind bag of food my daughter would not have eaten tonight’.

“I’m not sure people truly understand the difficulties some people have, they are too afraid to ask but desperately need it.

“It’s a pressure we can take off them which can make the difference between them making it through that day or not. We’ve been there ourselves, it’s tough. The FairShare scheme seems amazing, and also horrifying that the food we have donated would have been in the bin that night.

“There are people in need on our doorsteps and in our streets if you look hard enough. We all need to do something to help.”

Today (Monday, September 11) saw the start of collections from a number of local Tesco Express stores through the FareShare initiative.

Grandad, aka Danny Dawes, from Bognor support shop Grandad’s Front Room, needs volunteers to bring the donations back to its base for distribution.

Morning (between 7am and 10am) and evening (8.30pm to 9.30pm) time slots, for collections at six participating stores across the area, need filling.

To find out more, or get involved, see www.facebook.com/grandads.frontroom/

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