The Mid Norfolk Foodbank has received a much-needed Christmas present thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund.

The charity, which has provided 5,387 emergency food parcels so far this year to local people, now has its own electric van, funded by the Government’s Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund which supports charities and community organisations at the frontline, dealing with the increase in the cost of living.

Suzanne Bushby, operations manager, said: “Our volunteers have worked for more than a decade using their own vehicles, but the cost-of-living crisis has made this much more difficult. 

Dereham Times: Volunteers at the Mid Norfolk FoodbankVolunteers at the Mid Norfolk Foodbank (Image: Archant)

"This funding to provide us with a dedicated van has come just at the right time and will make a huge difference to how we operate daily.

“We are thrilled to have been successful with our application to the Cost of Living Fund - just in time for Christmas and the winter months, by far our busiest time of the year.

“The van will enable us to move increasing volumes of stock, donations and food parcels around the county, between our warehouse and three distribution centres in Dereham, Swaffham and Fakenham."

Dereham Times: Suzanne Bushby, operations manager at The Mid Norfolk FoodbankSuzanne Bushby, operations manager at The Mid Norfolk Foodbank (Image: Archant)

The food bank has reported a 34pc increase in food parcels distributed this year on top of a 52pc increase last year. Within that figure, there is a 39pc increase in the number of children we have fed this year.

“We are enormously grateful to all our supporters and volunteers for their continued giving during these difficult times.

"Our harvest and Christmas donations have been on a par with last year, but the New Year and a cold winter will be challenging for sure as uptake increases."

Dereham Times: The Mid Norfolk FoodbankThe Mid Norfolk Foodbank (Image: Archant © 2014)

The Mid Norfolk Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network of 1,400 foodbanks nationwide, which reported record levels of need in the last 12 months with almost three million emergency food parcels provided to people facing hardship between April 2022 and March 2023. 

More than a million of these parcels were provided to children.

If you’d like to donate food to Mid Norfolk Foodbank, please visit the website at

Financial support can be given via its Donate page at