News and events

28/04/2014

Kind customers at Curves Taunton donated over 150kgs of food to Taunton Foodbank following a food drive organised by staff there.

Instead of paying their joining fees, customers were encouraged to bring in a bag of food in the month of March. At their site in Wood Street, Taunton, the food was collected before being delivered to our warehouse.

Taunton Foodbank appreciates the kindness of the staff and customers at Curves Taunton and if your business would like to run a collection point or organise an event to fund raise for Taunton Foodbank, please contact us and let us know about it.

 

 

26/07/2013

Donate a tin to Taunton Foodbank at ASDA on 3 August 2013

As increasing numbers of local people in crisis turn to Foodbanks for help, shoppers at ASDA, Creechbarrow Road Taunton will be asked to donate food items to the Foodbank on Saturday 3rd August and Friday 9th August from 9am - 5pm on both days.

 

The economic climate means that more families are struggling to put food on the table and the Foodbank needs more stock to meet demand for emergency food.

200 ASDA stores across the UK are taking part in Trussell Trust Foodbank collections on 3rd August and all profits will be donated back to Trussell Trust Foodbanks.

 

In the past 12 months Taunton Foodbank has provided provides three days emergency food to 1,477 men, women and children in crisis locally. Over 90% of the food given out by Foodbanks is donated by people from local churches and members of the public. Supermarket collections are one of the main ways that the Foodbank is stocked and with the Foodbank busier than ever, the charity is asking people to give generously:

 

Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said “The current economic climate means more and more people are struggling to put food on the table and we really need local people to give what they can. Rising prices, static incomes and high unemployment are having a real impact on people on the breadline and we’re seeing more people turning to the Foodbank for help. We want to make sure that no-one in Taunton is forced to go hungry but to do this we’re urgently asking for help. ”

 

Taunton Foodbank will be collecting at ASDA on Saturday 3rd August and Friday 9th August from 9am-5pm on both days

 

Taunton Foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust’s UK Foodbank Network. The Foodbank provides a minimum of three days emergency food to help people through short term crisis. Each Foodbank also signposts people to other local agencies able to help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis. 

17/07/2013
Tone FM which broadcasts on 107.8 and http://www.tonefm.co.uk/listen-live-online/index.html is broadcasting a programme on Sunday 21 July from 8.00 am-8.30 am on Taunton Foodbank, which was prepared by Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank.
 
We hope you will be able to listen and find it interesting.
21/06/2013

Taunton Foodbank has fed more than 1,200 people since opening in July last year and has seen a significant increase in the number of people coming to use the Foodbank in the past few months.

 

The Foodbank is collecting at Tesco, Wellington Road, Taunton between 9am and 5pm on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July because food stocks have reduced considerably and there is an urgent need for more food to support people facing an emergency situation in their lives.

 

Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said “We reduced our food stocks to make a warehouse move more manageable and have helped to support a new Foodbank that has opened in Wellington. We have also seen an unprecedented increase in demand in the past few months since the welfare reforms began to take place and are asking people to donate so we can continue to provide emergency food to those in need”

 

“We opened in July last year, to ensure those families on low income and receiving free school meals, would have support over the summer holidays. We hope to provide support again to families in deprived areas because we have seen many mothers going without food so their children can eat. So we are asking for people to continue their generosity and donate food.

 

People can donate in the following ways:

  • Food collection at Tesco, Wellington Road, Taunton between 9am and 5pm on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July
  • Food collection at ASDA Taunton on Saturday 3rd and Friday 9th August as part of a Foodbank week
  • Drop food at the Foodbank warehouse at Unit 4, Belvedere Trading Estate, Albemarle Road on Mondays between 9.30am and 11.30am (except Bank Holidays)
  • Drop food at many Churches who have collection boxes
  • Drop food at the office of Jeremy Browne MP during office hours at Masons House, Magdalene Street, Taunton, TA1 1SG
  • Donate money directly to the Foodbank or get further information about the Foodbank and what you can donate at www.taunton.foodbank.org.uk

 

Keith added “It is sad to think that 1,200 people have had to turn to the Foodbank for emergency food but this is a picture we see across the country as the Welfare Reforms take effect. More than 350,000 people turned to food banks for help last year, almost triple the number who received food aid in the previous year and 100,000 more than anticipated”.

15/04/2013

People in Taunton generously gave £270 to Taunton Foodbank last week when they hosted a Trolley Push fundraising event in the town centre, but they are still short of their £500 target.

 

The Foodbank trolley, like the Olympic torch, has started to make its way around the UK, visiting 50 Foodbank locations and covering more than 2,300 miles. The Trolley Push started in Salisbury on Monday 8th April and arrived in Taunton on Tuesday 9th April. People guessed how much food had been given out since opening, sponsored food baskets, donated money and even had the chance to win a meal for two at The Castle Hotel (Brazz).

 

People also had the chance to see how Matt Buckley, Sous chef from the Castle Hotel had prepared a delicious meal using the ingredients from an emergency food parcel and also got to taste a piece of cake in the shape of a shopping trolley.

 

Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said “We were amazed at the generosity of people from Taunton who helped us half way to our £500 target. It was great to see how Matt Buckley from the Castle Hotel turned ordinary tinned food into a delicious meal just by adding a few spices.”

 

Keith added “We are still £230 short of our target and would like people to sponsor a food box that is used for safe and easy storage as well as transportation of food that has been donated. You can sponsor each box for £3 and we will place your name on the box for the next year. Details of how to contact us are on the website www.taunton.foodbank.org.uk

 

Keith said “The Foodbank has seen a significant increase in the need for emergency food parcels and anticipate a further increase as the Welfare Reforms take effect”.

 

“Thanks to Falcon Van Hire and our team of volunteers, we moved to a new warehouse this month. We had to run down our food stocks to make the move easier. However food levels are now very low and we will be having a food collection at a supermarket in the very near future. In the meantime people can contact us if they want to donate food before then so we can continue to provide emergency food to those in need. This is even more important as the Welfare Reforms take effect and increasing numbers of people turn to Foodbanks for emergency food.

 

Key Facts

Since the official start of Taunton Foodbank in July 2012 it has:

  • Fed more than 824 people (623 adults and 210 children) - for three days
  • Provided the equivalent of 8,240 meals
  • Given out  more than 7,000kg of food which is the equivalent to more than 16,000 tins of beans  
19/12/2012

Customers at the Tesco Superstore in Taunton got into the festive spirit by donating a fantastic 1320kg of food to people in need this Christmas. This is enough to provide food for 40 families for three or more days. Food raised by Taunton Tesco Superstore will now be distributed to those in need by the Taunton Foodbank.

The store was just one of nearly 900 Tesco stores up and down the country taking part in “Help Feed People In Need”, the largest ever food collection in the UK. The retailer joined forces with Foodbanks charity, the Trussell Trust and food redistribution charity FareShare to collect 1,000 tonnes of food, the equivalent of more than two million meals.

Shoppers at Taunton Tesco Superstore donated a wide range of food items, with the most popular items proving to be cans of soup and tinned tomatoes. Many customers even used the opportunity to bring some festive cheer to the appeal by buying Christmas items such as mince pies and Christmas puddings.

Foodbank volunteer Keith Whittaker said “We were absolutely blown away by the generosity of shoppers at Tesco over the weekend. People were extremely generous! We are seeing a huge demand at Taunton Foodbank so the 1320kg of food donated by Tesco customers could not have come at a better time. Taunton Foodbank would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated food, Christmas is looking a little brighter for families in crisis as a result.”

A representative from Tesco said: “We’re delighted the people of Taunton have come out to support this vital cause. We’ve been overwhelmed by customers generosity and hopefully the food collected this weekend will go some way to help people less fortunate this Christmas. Thank you so much for all the support.”

Chris Mould, Executive Chairman of the Trussell trust said: “As cold weather sets in and energy bills start to bite, more people are turning to foodbanks because they cannot afford both food and heating. Thanks to incredible public generosity at Tesco stores last weekend, foodbanks will be able to provide emergency food and festive treats to more families who are struggling to afford food this Christmas. At a time when budgets are stretched more than ever, it's heart-warming to see so many communities working together to stop people going hungry. We're truly staggered by the public response - it will transform Christmas for many. Thank you.”

Tesco has topped up donations by 30% and will also be providing extra funding for each of the charities to help them carry out more work in communities up and down the UK.

The food parcels are given to people who have received a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with, such as a health worker, social worker, staff working in education or someone else who knows there is a need. The voucher can then be redeemed for a food parcel, which lasts for three days or more.

People receive the food parcels because of a sudden change in their situations. Examples include people who have not been able to pay for food because of a seriously illness and do not have enough income to support themselves, not been able to replace food because their freezer broke, or because of an unexpected change in benefit payments. The food parcel helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found.

Taunton Foodbank is part of an initiative by Taunton Christians Together and Somerset West Businesses Against Crime “Back on TRACK” programme” and sponsored by Taunton United Reform Church.

For more information e-mail info@taunton.foodbank.org.uk phone 07761 624 216 or visit our website at www.taunton.foodbank.org.uk 

28/11/2012

Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said “We have seen amazing provision and generosity from people in Taunton and surrounding villages during this harvest season. In one day we were given nearly one tonne of food from local churches, schools and private donors. This has helped to ensure that we have a good supply of food for the winter period, when we expect to see an increase in demand”.

 

Keith added “This was great to see so many people taking the initiative to support the work of the Foodbank. It is because of the generosity of people in the Taunton area during this harvest season that we have been able to help more than 120 people and provide nutritionally balanced food parcels since opening in July”.

 

A record-breaking 100,000 people have received emergency food from UK foodbanks in just six months. Our fear is that rises in food and fuel bills this winter could force more people into a crisis where they cannot afford to eat. The Trussell Trust’s UK Foodbank Network anticipates feeding over 200,000 people in 2012-13 and warns that this Christmas is looking even bleaker for families on the breadline.

 

The food parcels are given to people who have received a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with, such as a health worker, social worker, staff working in education or someone else who knows there is a need. The voucher can then be redeemed for a food parcel, which lasts for three days or more.

 

People receive the food parcels because of a sudden change in their situations. Examples include people who have not been able to pay for food because of a seriously illness and do not have enough income to support themselves, not been able to replace food because their freezer broke, or because of an unexpected change in benefit payments. The food parcel helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found.

 

Keith added “We anticipate an increase in demand and are looking at ways we can support other Foodbanks wanting to start up around Taunton so need people to continue to donate. You can do this by:

 

  • · Volunteering your time, we need a secretary, web editor and people who are able to help in our warehouse
  • · Donating money to help us rent a warehouse long term

 

The Foodbank has a particular need for tins of vegetables, sponge pudding, beans, jars of coffee and cartons of juice. There is also a need for food for vegetarians.

 

People who would like to donate food can do so at:

 

  • · The Foodbank when it is open at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm or Fridays between 12noon and 2pm
  • · The offices of Jeremy Browne MP (who opened the Foodbank in July) during office hours

 

Keith added “It has been amazing to see this project come to life because of the support of members of the public, local churches, the business community and schools. The Foodbank is part of an initiative by Taunton Christians Together and Somerset West Businesses Against Crime “Back on TRACK” programme”.

 

For more information e-mail info@taunton.foodbank.org.uk phone 07761 624 216 or visit our website at www.taunton.foodbank.org.uk 

 

28/11/2012

Please don’t come direct to us, that’s not how we work…..

If you need help please go to one of the many agencies in our area that are in place to help the general public.

For instance;

If you’re a family with under 5’s the best place for you to access help for your family is your local Children’s Centre or your Health Visitor

If you have children in school the school’s welfare officer or the Parent and Family support team may be able to help

If you’re struggling to pay the rent or mortgage; please contact your local housing department, your housing association or the Citizens Advice Bureau

If you have debt issues, try your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau

If you are having problems claiming benefits, your first port of call could be the Job Centre or again the Citizens Advice Bureau

We hope this is of some help and hope to you.

DON’T FORGET; You’ll need a voucher to access Taunton Foodbank:

you’ll only get one if the project/community group/agency thinks it will help WHILE YOU’RE ENGAGED WITH THEM, trying to solve the problems that led to you needing their help in the first place.

We know it sounds a bit harsh but we don’t operate a ‘soup kitchen’, so you’ll need a voucher.

Not only will you be able to access help through these agencies but if they think it will help they may issue you with a voucher for the Food Bank.

If an agency you work for or works with you does not hold vouchers please ask them to contact us and we’ll see if they can be part of Foodbank.

01/10/2012

Over 120 food parcels have been given to people facing emergency situations within Taunton.

 

Keith Whittaker from Taunton Foodbank said “Thanks to the support and donations from local people, the Foodbank has given out more than 120 nutritionally balanced food parcels to local people since opening in July. The food parcels are given to people who have received a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with, such as a health worker, social worker, staff working in education or someone else who knows there is a need. The voucher can then be redeemed for a food parcel, which lasts for three days or more.

 

“People receive the food parcels because of a sudden change in their situations. Examples include people who have not been able to pay for food because of a seriously illness and do not have enough income to support themselves, not been able to replace food because their freezer broke, or because of an unexpected change in benefit payments. The food parcel helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found.”

 

Keith added “Thanks to the generosity of the people of Taunton we have been able to give out over a tonne of food which has helped to keep many people out of poverty. Many of the recipients are single people but we are also helping families with children and the elderly. We expect the need to grow as the winter draws near.

 

The Foodbank has a particular need for tins of vegetables, sponge pudding, beans, jars of coffee and cartons of juice. There is also a need for food for vegetarians.

 

People who would like to donate food can do so at:

 

  • A Food collection at Sainsbury’s Hankridge Farm on Saturday 27 October between 9am and 4pm.
  • At The Foodbank  when it is open at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm or Fridays between 12noon and 2pm
  • At the offices of Jeremy Browne MP (who opened the Foodbank in July) during office hours

 

Keith added “It has been amazing to see this project come to life because of the support of members of the public, local churches, the business community and schools. The Foodbank is part of an initiative by Taunton Christians Together and Somerset West Businesses Against Crime “Back on TRACK” programme.

 

If you would like to volunteer for the Foodbank, we need a secretary, web editor and people who are able to help in our warehouse. For more information e-mail info@taunton.foodbank.org.uk or phone 07761 624 216.

 

 

28/09/2012

September Volunteer News

August seems to have flown past and it is hard to believe that the Foodbank has now been up and running for more than 6 weeks. It has been an exciting time for all involved with the project and so worthwhile. People who have needed to come to us for food have been so grateful for the help they have received and many front-line agencies have contacted us asking how they can refer those in need of food. It is still very early days but we are gradually reaching out into the community and becoming known. Thank you all for your help, support and prayers for this work.

 

Food Stocks

 

We are beginning to get an idea of how much food is needed to keep the Foodbank going. We have collected over 3½ tonnes of food since June when we began our collections and distributed almost ¾ of a tonne in the 6 weeks since we opened.

As we become established we could easily be distributing a tonne of food each month and we see how wise it was of the Trussell Trust to advise us to have adequate stocks before we opened. Churches, local businesses, voluntary organisations and community groups are all contributing food and whenever the Distribution Centre is open members of the public pop-in with bags of food. We have another Supermarket collection planned for October.

 

The Warehouse

 

There has been a lot of work done at the warehouse this month including putting up a second set of shelves again kindly donated by Oakwood Church. At last we have been able to establish a good system for storing food in date order etc. and we know so much more now than we did a couple of months ago about how much space we need. That will be very helpful as we search for alternative facilities. We have to leave our present accommodation at the end of November.

We need to find a warehouse for the Foodbank that can store at least 3 tonnes of food - 800-1,000 sq ft. If you have any ideas please let us know as soon as possible and please also join us in prayer for this.

 

Food distribution

 

The Distribution Centre at the United Reformed Church in Paul Street has continued to open on Tuesdays (2.00 pm – 4.00 pm) and Fridays (12.00 noon -2.00 pm). Some days, particularly in the first few weeks, were very quiet with few clients but in the last couple of weeks we have been averaging around 5 clients per session.

It has been a real privilege to be part of the team at the distribution centre and witness the gratitude of those who have come for help. If there was ever any doubt that Taunton needs a Foodbank those doubts have been dispelled in the last 6 weeks. We have now fed 54 adults and 16 children.

 

In conclusion

 

I guess none of the initial steering group had any idea when they first met at the beginning of January quite how much work would be involved in setting up the Taunton Foodbank. We have been so grateful to all the volunteers who have made it possible but each week there seems to be another new task. A number of groups and organisations have approached us asking for materials for displays to help promote the foodbank. Again if this is something you could do please contact us.

 

Pam Walker and Helen Wallace

 

Foodbank Managers

 

 

 

12/07/2012

Thirty volunteers for Taunton Foodbank recently took part in a training session to help them understand how they could help collect, sort and distribute emergency food to those people most in need. However more volunteers are needed for the Foodbank to meet the anticipated need.

Volunteers heard how they could collect food from people visiting supermarkets such as the collection that will take place at Sainsburys in Hankridge Farm between 9am and 4pm on Saturday 21 July.

Volunteers learnt how they could sort, weigh and store the food in the Foodbank warehouse. People are needed to pack this into nutritionally balanced, food parcels that will be given to those who are in need such as people who suddenly lose their job, face a sudden change in their circumstances or receive unexpected bills.

Volunteers learnt how they could make the Foodbank distribution centre a welcoming, friendly and safe place. The distribution centre, which is located at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Taunton will open between 12noon and 2pm on Friday 13th July then be open the same times each Friday. The Foodbank will also be open on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm.

Volunteers are needed to give food parcels to people in need who have been given a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with such as a health worker, social worker, staff working in education or someone else who knows there is a need”.

Pam Walker, Project Manager for Taunton Foodbank said “We are really grateful to those 41 people who have already volunteered to help with the Foodbank. However we need more people to help collect food, organise it into food parcels and distribute it to those in need. We have already had lots of calls from people asking if we are open yet so expect to have quick increase in people using the Foodbank”.

 “We will be opening on 13 July, before the school holidays so that children receiving free school meals and facing emergency situations will be able to receive food. A recent survey of 2000 mothers showed that one in five mothers regularly go without meals to feed their children.

Pam added: although we have received one and half tonnes of food this is only half the amount the Trussell Trust recommend Foodbanks hold before they open, so we still need more food to meet the anticipated need."

If you would like to volunteer contact us on 07761 624 216 or e-mail: info@taunton.foodbank.org.uk

11/06/2012

Businesses in Taunton have been instrumental in helping to start a Foodbank in Taunton so that food parcels will be provided to those who are in need.

 

The Foodbank in Taunton is one of more than 200 in the UK that aim to provide Nutritionally balanced emergency food parcels for local people in crisis. These food parcels will be provided to those who are in need, on the receipt of a voucher which has been issued by a front line agency.

 

Pam Walker, Project Manager for Taunton Foodbank said “We have continued to see a need for the Foodbank in Taunton as people continue to be made redundant, see a sudden change in their circumstances or receive unexpected bills from the winter period. Often this results in people having no money available to buy food for themselves or their families. People in need will be given a numbered and signed voucher from a professional that they are likely to come into contact with such as a health worker, social worker, staff working in education or someone else who knows there is a need”.

 

However the Foodbank could not have started without the help and support of local businesses that have offered shelving, storage facilities, grants and time so that their staff can take an active part in this initiative.

 

Pam added “We have been supported by a local business and it has been amazing to see the generosity of people and businesses at a time of financial challenges. However these donors understand that there is a desperate need for the Foodbank”.

 

“There is evidence that in times of financial difficulty, like those we are currently facing, there is a rise in theft of food from shops and supermarkets or people just go hungry for several days. The Foodbank gives food for three days, which helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found. However it is important to stress that this is not a service for the homeless as there is already provision for this”.

 

Andy Sharman, Scheme Co-ordinator for Somerset West Businesses Against Crime had the initial idea to start the Foodbank because he saw a rise in thefts from shops. Andy has been working with |members of Taunton Christians Together to get the Foodbank off the ground as part of the “Back on TRACK” programme.

 

Andy said “We are pleased that one of our members, ASDA, has given Foodbank their support. We hope their involvement will lead to other businesses showing their support by allowing collections at their premises or encouraging their staff to get involved by volunteering for Foodbank. This vital service is a great initiative and we are one step closer to being able to support vulnerable people in our community”.

 

 

The Foodbank was able to collect half a tone of food during a day’s collection at Asda supermarket on 26 May but needs another two tones before it can open its doors. The distribution centre for the Foodbank will be at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Taunton for two hours a day once or twice a week depending on the amount of food collected and number of volunteers available.

 

Andy added “The Foodbank is a win-win situation. Businesses and local community working in partnership to provide support to individuals and families so they can meet their basic needs for a few days. In other areas this has helped to change the course of people’s lives as it helps vulnerable people at a time of need”.

 

The Foodbank needs more volunteers, additional shelving and grants or donations to support its work as well as other food stores to participate. As the Foodbank is run by volunteers virtually all of the money received goes straight to those in need.

 

The Foodbank is a franchise of the Trussell Trust, which runs Foodbanks throughout the country.

 

If you would like to be a volunteer or support Taunton Foodbank, please contact Pam Walker, the Foodbank Manager on 07761 624 216 or e-mail fbank_volunteers@btinternet.com

12/06/2012

LOCAL MP SUPPORTS FOODBANK COLLECTION

 

Taunton Deane MP, Jeremy Browne, supported Taunton Foodbank’s first supermarket collection at ASDA, Creechbarrow Road Taunton on Saturday 26 May 2012.

 

Almost half a tonne of food and essential groceries was collected from shoppers at the store, which has made a good start towards the 3 tonnes Taunton Foodbank need before they can open their distribution centre in July.

 

Pam Walker, Foodbank Manager said “We were amazed at the generosity  of  those shopping in ASDA as they were pleased to buy an extra item from the list provided by Foodbank volunteers. This will help us to provide nutritionally balanced food parcels to those who are in need.

 

Pam added “We still need to collect more food before we can open and are still recruiting volunteers to come and help collect food, sort it and give it out to those in need”

 

Taunton Foodbank is affiliated to the Trussell Trust which is a Christian organisation which provides food parcels for those who are in crisis, because of a change in their personal circumstances. The Foodbank gives food for three days, which helps people to get back on track and gives time for a longer term solution to be found. The Foodbank is part of Taunton Christians Together and Somerset West Businesses Against Crime “Back on TRACK” programme.

 

Taunton Foodbank hopes to open its distribution centre at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Taunton in July.

 

If you would like to be a volunteer or support Taunton Foodbank, please contact Pam Walker, the Foodbank Manager on 07761 624 216 or e-mail fbank_volunteers@btinternet.com .

02/05/2012
Figures released by The Trussell Trust show that the current economic climate is seeing many more people struggle to put food on the table, including families who are in work. Over 45,000 children were fed by foodbanks in 2011-12. 
 
Numbers of adults and children fed nationwide have increased from 61,468 in 2010-11 to 128,697 in 
2011-12 financial year. For many foodbank clients, the rising cost of food and fuel combined with 
static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits have forced them into a crisis where 
they cannot afford to eat.
 
The single biggest reason that people were referred to foodbanks was benefit delay (29%), followed 
by low income (19%). Other reasons for referrals include delayed wages, domestic violence, sickness, 
unemployment, debt, benefit changes, refused crisis loans, homelessness and absence of free school 
meals during school holidays. All those who received emergency food were referred by frontline 
care professionals such as doctors, social workers and Citizens Advice Bureau. 
18/04/2012
Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould was invited to David Cameron's Easter Celebration at 10 Downing Street recently in recognition of the important work that foodbanks are doing across the UK.   Chris says: 'The Prime Minister's acknowledgement of foodbanks is testament to the incredible work of all those across the UK who have stepped up and launched foodbanks in their towns to stop people going hungry. It's a big well done to everyone involved.
18/04/2012

Of 2000 mothers surveyed by Netmums recently, 1 in 5 regularly go without meals to feed their children, 16% are being treated for stress-related illnesses and one third are borrowing money from friends and family to stay afloat. Most mothers stated that their situation is worse than a year ago with less money coming in.     

Foodbanks meet mums in desperate situations every week. This week foodbank mum Donna was almost in tears as she told me that she couldn't afford birthday presents to give to her twins who will be 13 on Sunday. She said that her sons had asked to have a friend come to stay to celebrate their birthday but she hasn't said yes because she's not sure they can afford the extra food. Donna used to work in a school for children with Aspergers and Autism but is currently off work due to depression - which has been exacerbated by the family's financial worries. Her partner was recently made redundant and they are currently living on £38 per week due to mistakes with their benefits. This is the reality behind the statistics. Donna says she will be 'eternally grateful' for their foodbox. Without it she says she would have gone without food and had to try to scrape together enough money to give the children something, even just bread and butter. The family are keen to get back into work, that's the hope that keeps them going.


03/06/2011

We're looking for volunteers to help run the foodbank. If you can spare a few hours a week, why not get in touch. There are lots of things that need doing from sorting food and fundraising to meeting clients and supermarket collections. Why not see where you fit in?


 

23/05/2011

You may know him for his roles in Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean, but actor Bill Nighy is a keen campaigner on social justice. As one of the voices of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, Bill wanted to find out more about UK poverty and Oxfam suggested that he visit a Trussell Trust foodbank!

Recently, we took Bill to Hammersmith and Fulham foodbank where he met foodbank clients, heard their stories and even packed a foodbox himself. At the end of his visit we asked Bill what he thought, he told us: 'It's very moving to come here in modern times to see a room incredibly well stocked with donated food for people who, through no fault of their own, have dropped through the cracks. The fact that the people here volunteer to help is both touching and exemplary. I salute all those involved.'

Watch Guardian online's film of Bill's visit

24/05/2011

Foodbanks are opening at an unprecedented rate to meet the high demand for emergency food aid: in 2011 The Trussell Trust has launched a new foodbank every week, launching its 100th UK foodbank this week. We've also launched our first international foodbank in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

61,000 people nationwide have received emergency food handouts from The Trussell Trust's UK foodbanks in the last 12 months, 50% more than last year. Most foodbank recipients are not homeless; they are low-income working families who hit crisis, people who have been made redundant or people experiencing benefits delays. We are excited that more and more churches and communities across the UK are seeing the need on their doorsteps and working with us to launch more foodbanks.

 

Could your local church launch a foodbank?

 

19/05/2011

Following the closure of three local companies, Okehampton foodbank has seen numbers needing emergency food soar from 20 to 200 per week.  Unemployment in the Devon town has risen from 2% to nearly 12% leaving many former employees with no choice but to rely on food parcels from Okehampton foodbank until redundancy packages and benefit payments come through. 

The plight of the people in Okehampton and surge in numbers turning to the foodbank has been widely reported by the national media.  Whilst local people have rallied to provide extra food to meet the demand, the foodbank is still under pressure. Okehampton foodbank's Andrew Morgan told the Guardian, "We are still appealing for food, it is desperately needed: some staff made redundant hadn't been paid for weeks. There really are people with no money and they really can't afford to put food on the table."

Adrian and Kay Vernon were both made redundant from Polestar foods, Okehampton, and suddenly left with no money.  With a four-year-old daughter to feed, Adrian told the BBC that his foodbox was 'a lifesaver'.

Unemployment nationwide is at a 17-year high and foodbanks across the country are experiencing huge demand.  This year the UK foodbank network estimates it has fed 60,000 people; an increase of nearly 20,000 people from the previous year.

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