THE community effort during the coronavirus crisis has been praised by those working with Ryedale Foodbank.

In March, the foodbank, which is based in Malton, had to close its collection centres and organise a delivery service to those in need.

Reverend Malcolm Dyer, chairperson of Ryedale Foodbank Steering Group, said this had enabled the volunteers to centralise their operations at the warehouse in Norton.

“This also allowed us to cope with the influx of donations from local supermarkets and get food parcels out to people who needed them,” he said.

From feeding 496 families in April, the foodbank saw a drop in numbers in May to 141, as it was reorganised following the death of manager Jacqui Griffiths, followed by an increase to 227 in June.

Rev Dyer said: “We have also been able to work more closely with other agencies, including local councils, the voluntary groups, community kitchens and free fridge.

“The foodbank is not just here to provide food but to signpost people to the help and support they need.”

Rev Dyer said the foodbank volunteers had been wonderful during the lockdown with people stepping in for those who needed to self-isolate.

“They have quickly adapted and really stepped up to the challenges,” he added.

“Donations from the public have also been amazing and we really appreciate their support. It has been amazing to witness the spirit of cooperation and vision that is growing in our communities. We hear so much bad news these days, so it is good to be able to report some good news for a change.”

For emergency food supplies phone 07922 421326, Monday to Friday, 9am and 5pm, and 01609 780780 at weekends. For information phone 07990 264008 or go to