South Tyneside hospital team package up food parcels for families in need over Christmas

A team of hospital staff supported a charity which helped patients cope during the pandemic.

Janet Defty and Gaynor Bryden with items ready to be packaged up and sent out by Feeding Families.
Janet Defty and Gaynor Bryden with items ready to be packaged up and sent out by Feeding Families.

Feeding Families has provided ‘welcome home’ food parcels to people being discharged after leaving the care of South Tyneside District Hospital during the crisis.

In return for the kindness shown by the food poverty charity and its supporters, South Tyneside hospital’s Discharge Team stepped forward to help ensure people did not go without this Christmas and New Year.

Paul Young, who manages the Discharge Lounge at the hospital, Health Care Assistants Gaynor Bryden and Janet Defty and Nurse Wendy Brown spent an afternoon helping Feeding Families prepare food parcels ready to be sent out to local families in need.

Feeding families.

During their visit to its distribution centre, they joined the production line to sort through donated items and put together parcels.

Their day followed on from their own appeal in the lead up to the festive period which saw a large amount of goods donated by staff across South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

Paul said: “Feeding families helped many of our patients throughout the pandemic and we really wanted to give something back to the charity.

“It was fabulous to know that we’re doing our bit for the charity and making a difference to people who might be struggling during the Christmas holidays.

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“The appeal received a brilliant response and I’d like to thank my colleagues at the Trust and the public for their generosity. It really does make a difference.”

The North East charity helped distribute more than 9,000 boxes and hampers in the lead up to Christmas.

It also worked to put together bigger boxes ready for refuges, other charities and small organisations which help people with learning disabilities, victims of domestic abuse and social worker teams.

Feeding Families’ work started in 2016 and steadily grew.

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In 2020, Feeding Families rose to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic and, in partnership with other regional charities and organisation, began to supply weekly food packages to those most vulnerable.

Today, Feeding Families operates 365-days of the year, with two packaging centres, one in Byers Green, Spennymoor, and the second in Blaydon, Gateshead, and an army of 3,000 volunteers.

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