GENEROUS shareholders of Uley’s community shop donated profits to their regional foodbank.

Hundreds of packets of sugar and jars of coffee will soon be winding their way to needy people across the Stroud district thanks to the efforts at Uley Community Stores.

Store spokeswoman Janet Wood said: “When we made a small profit last year, some of it was given to our shareholders in the form of vouchers.”

These could be spent in the store or donated to the Stroud District Foodbank (SDF).

She added: “A large number of shareholders chose to donate the vouchers to the foodbank.”

Part of the Trussell Trust, SDF has branches in Dursley, Wotton-under-Edge, Stroud and Stonehouse and has been providing people with food and support at times of crisis for over two years.

During this time the number of people accessing the service has risen sharply.

Foodbank staff asked for the Uley donors to donate items in particularly short supply and around £500 was spent buying 253 packets of sugar and 420 jars of coffee.

Project manager Will Mansell said: “We are really grateful for the donation from Uley Stores. We have had a 70 per cent increase in customers this year and we need all the food we can get.

"Foodbank relies on the community to operate and places like Uley Stores are an great example of how together we can make a real difference in people's lives."

The community-owned enterprise has around 350 local shareholders who clubbed together in 2012 to raise £51,000 to keep the shop open.

Last year the village was treated to a Royal visit when Prince Charles officially opened the successful enterprise.

As well as this one off donation, Uley Stores regularly collects food for the foodbank.

"Every week customers buy extra food to donate," said Ms Wood. "The foodbank is there in the shop as an ongoing project."

People must be referred to SDF by frontline care professionals and are given a maximum of three food vouchers per ‘crisis.’

The foodbank currently needs sugar, sponge puddings, tinned vegetables, instant mash, UHT fruit juice and small boxes of cereal.

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