The Swindon Foodbank Warehouse has seen an increasing reduction in the amount of stock its holding over the past few months. To combat this we're looking to arrange extra supermarket collections, but also increase awareness within Swindon that we need food to be donated.
So far in 2011 Swindon Foodbank is feeding on average 16% more people than in 2010 - on average 67 people per week, compared with an average of 56 people last year. It's great that Foodbank is able to respond to this increased need - but we're aware that more feeding means a need for more stock if we don't want an empty warehouse!
There are several factors which could be responsible for the decline in stock:
* the price of lower income food has risen - for example long life fruit juice has gone up almost 100%, while tinned tomatoes have gone up 50%. These are big increases for people to respond to even within their own shopping, let alone to give away to Foodbank.
* an increasing number of students are needing our help. Government threats of taking away the EMA grant to study has lead to a lack of enthusiasm or motivation to study among many students. New sanctions mean that the students are frequently having their financial support frozen for anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months if they don't meet many requirements - this could be for failing to keep an appointment, not attending courses or not paying back crisis loans on time. With no benefits these students often have very little other resources to fall back on.
* increasingly we are feeding people who are, for the most part, managing to get by on their income, whether from wages or benefits, but when something extra arises such as birthdays or unexpected bills, they don't have any margin in their finances to be able to cover them. It's so easy for these situations to snowball, and before long they have gotten themselves into debt with no idea how to get themselves back out. Food from Foodbank can help them meet the unexpected cost and avoid a financial meltdown.
If Swindon Foodbank is to continue to meet this growing need within Swindon, then we are going to need more people to be donating food to the Warehouse. We are in the process of trying to organise extra Supermarket Collections in May or June, as our next booked collection is July. We have been trying to get a date from Asda-Walmart, but with little success so far.
If you are able to help out at our collections, please keep an eye on the website for dates to be updated. Alternatively, if you're able to donate some food, please take a look at our current food needs to see the items we have most need for.
Thank you to all who have so faithfully supported us with your donations, we hope you are encouraged to know that all the food we receive is so quickly being redistributed to those who need it.
Posted on Tue, April 19, 2011
by Milly Jones filed under