Food banks...


North Lakes Foodbank in Cockermouth is to share the bulk of the money with several other foodbank centres in Windermere, Barrow, Allerdale and Copeland.

The cheque presentation to Jane Robinson, Treasure of the North Lakes Foodbank, Cockermouth, was made after Grasmere Gingerbread® set aside a percentage of proceeds from festive mail order sales.

Jane offered a “huge thank you to Grasmere Gingerbread® and their customers for supporting us” and explained the money would “directly support local people in need.”

Grasmere Gingerbread® also donated slices of their iconic product to foodbank volunteers.

She added: “Acknowledging the hard work of our 150 volunteers with packs of Grasmere Gingerbread® was very much appreciated at Christmas and they enjoyed it with their cuppas during breaks at our volunteering sessions.”

In December, selected Christmas gift boxes bought online by Grasmere Gingerbread® customers triggered £1 donations. A further 50p was earmarked for the charity from each parcel mailed out between the 1st and 23rd of that month.

Joanne Hunter, co-director of Grasmere Gingerbread®, said: “Customers who bought items from us over the festive period knew that that their purchases would make a positive difference to the lives of other people. “I would like to acknowledge our dedicated team who worked very hard to process so many parcels and also our wonderful customers for their support.”

The North Lakes Foodbank is one of a national network of foodbanks supported by the Trussell Trust. Together they provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty and campaign for change to end the need for food banks.

£500 from the Grasmere Gingerbread® donation is to go directly towards the Trussell Trust’s emergency fund appeal.

Pertinently, Grasmere Gingerbread® founder Sarah Nelson invented her unique spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and cake to lift her own family out of poverty in the middle of the 19th century. She was only granted the tenancy of her Church Cottage home in 1854 - now The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop - because her family was so poor and were desperate for somewhere to live in the village. 

Yet, throughout her life she helped other people struggling to survive economically and even taught local children the alphabet using large Grasmere Gingerbread® letters covered in thin horn. “Her sense of community and commitment to others informs how we run the business to this day,” added Joanne.

In previous years, Grasmere Gingerbread® has used proceeds from its festive sales to support Shelter and The Samaritans.