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A final thought from Soroush

10th February 2021

Have you ever been part of something great, yet wanted it to end soon? Perhaps not, but that’s how I’ve felt for the past five and half years. When I first started working for Middlesbrough Foodbank in September 2015, my ultimate hope was to see the day when we close the doors for good, knowing there’s no need for foodbanks in Middlesbrough. It won’t take one long to know I’ve not achieved even the minutest part of this dream. The ongoing hardship with the added pressure caused by the current pandemic have made things even harder for people, and more so in Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country…
Child poverty in Middlesbrough is on the rise …

These are some of the headlines we see or hear every now and again about this beloved town. A good friend once asked me how I deal with the emotional burden of hearing so many sad stories through my work at foodbank. The answer wasn’t some psychological tips I’d read in a book, or an internet search to find a cure for insomnia. Although poverty and hunger are real, these aren’t the first things I associate with Middlesbrough. When I think about this wonderful part of the country, I’m reminded of the many selfless men, women and children who go over and beyond their call to serve the community. It often reminds me of the unsung heroes who give sacrificially or work behind the scenes to bring hope to the lives of those experiencing hardship. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know hundreds of these unsung heroes – namely, volunteers and supporters of Middlesbrough Foodbank who have helped feed over 10600 people in Middlesbrough since March 2020.  So, thank you for allowing me to be part of this amazing work, for all your support over the years, and for making a difference in the lives of many in our community.

And the story doesn’t end here. I’m sure you’ll join me in welcoming and supporting Alan Jones, our new project manager. As I enter this new season of life and pass on the baton to Alan, I’m honoured to have already witnessed his heart full of love and compassion for the marginalised. Let’s us together continue bringing hope to the hopeless, and see lives restored by loving our neighbours.

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