Anna Maughan and Maureen Stell, from Finchley Foodbank, won the Parish Social Outreach Award at the Diocese of Westminster virtual award ceremony for volunteers last Wednesday evening (2nd June.)
This award recognised volunteers working for a project supported by a Catholic Parish in the Westminster diocese.
Finchley Foodbank was set up to meet the needs of the local community in 2013, but during the pandemic it expanded its services eightfold and now provides food for up to 400 clients each week.
Anna and Maureen were, together, instrumental in this expansion of the Foodbank’s services.
Anna is the vice-chair of the foodbank, and has been responsible for recruiting volunteers and organising rotas, sourcing food and raising money. She is hands on organising the foodbank seven days a week.
Maureen works behind the scenes sorting and packaging the food ready for distribution – this is a lot of work for 400 clients, and she has recruited volunteers to help. There is always a lot of chatting and laughter as the food is sorted, and Maureen shows great respect and care for all the volunteers she works with.
Anna ensures that clients are welcomed and respected, and where possible are given the same choice of food that we all enjoy when shopping. She takes extra time to encourage clients and volunteers. Recently an 8-year-old boy raised £500 so the foodbank could buy a stock of UHT milk – Anna invited him to see the delivery and has labelled each carton of milk with his name.
Fr Peter Scott, the parish priest of St Mary’s East Finchley, and chair of Finchley Foodbank has been inspired by Anna and Maureen and describes them as each having “a wise pair of shoulders for me to lean on”.
On receiving the award Anna said “Finchley Foodbank is a team of many parts, which reflects all aspects of the community. Our family of volunteers and supporters make the sharing of food with so many a straightforward task despite the challenges of the time we are living in. I am very proud to be part of the Finchley Foodbank team, which shows kindness and generosity in all that they do.”
Maureen commented: “The Foodbank is like the Feeding of the 5,000, we never run out of food due to the wonderful support of many individuals in our community.”