People who read this blog are very generous - thank you! When I posted this last night, I got an email the same night from someone who offered to help out with the feeder's costs.
I am still trying to get hold of the feeder though to find out exactly what is happening. I have been unable to get him on the phone and he hasn't quite answered all my questions via SMS (possibly due to his schedule). All he has said is that the other feeders cannot be trusted because they are dirty. I have asked him twice to call me so I hope he does give me a ring.
One thing though that has to be said (and this is not in relation to the case above) is that people donating food especially should be careful. The reason being that while it is always good to help out feeders in need where possible, it should be done most importantly for the welfare of the cats. That statement may seem to be obvious - after all, what helps feeders must help cats! However this is not always the case.
For example, some people feed the cats for the sake of feeding the cats - they enjoy the act of feeding the cats. They may tell you it's time consuming, tiring, etc, but they continue to feed for its own sake. As a result, the cat population grows. Now some people perhaps don't know about sterilisation, and with awareness would definitely go about it. Others sadly, do not think it's important nor do they particularly care if the cats get caught.
In comes a generous donor who then offers to help with the food. What happens then? The feeder then expands the colony, feeding more cats, and having those cats breed even more prolifically. This leads to more cats overall, and brings it to the attention of people who complain. The end result? The cats get rounded up - and certainly more cats get rounded up then if they had not started feeding in the first place.
It doesn't mean that people don't necessarily make use of money for other things too - for example years ago, we did help a woman who had a large colony that she took into her home. The cats were very stressed out. We told her in no uncertain terms she was not to take in more cats. We counted and she had 20 unsterilised cats (there were an even greater number that were done). We offered to pay for the cats. When we had paid for 30 cats, I called her up to find out why she was still making bookings - it turned out she had decided to go bring even more cats in. We stopped funding at that point.
The last I heard there were people donating to her food and litter and that the number of cats has increased three or four times the initial number that she used to have.