week 8- food bank
We'd like to talk about our food bank this week. This is a crucial service at BYHP which supports many of our service users and their families. Some people use this service on a regular basis for some time, maybe whilst accessing other services. Other people use it sporadically and we may only see them a few times in a year. Our food bank relies on donations- generally we receive produce from Banbury Food For Charities twice a week as and when they have surplus items which their volunteers collect from supermarkets and deliver to us and other service providers.
We receive regular food bank donations from our friends at Bloxham Church as well as many other groups, clubs, churches and individuals alike. We have a wonderful volunteer, Louise, who ordinarily comes in to our building twice a week to sort through donations and keep our store room in order. We receive both regular and one off monetary donations which people specify they would like us to use as a contribution to our food bank. This is a huge help as we can buy essential missing items for our young people. Occasionally we also hold collection days within supermarkets when we are able to. Here are some pictures showing the food bank set up at at our offices;
Under 'normal' circumstances anyone who is within our age range of 13-25 can come along to BYHP when they are in need of a food parcel. They don't have to be accessing any other services or be referred but just willing to give us a few basic details for our records (no data is shared, it's just for our stats) A member of the team then assists them to find the items they need and will chat to anyone who is using the food bank for the first time about their current circumstances and discuss if there are any of our other services which they think may benefit them. If that is the case they would be put in contact with the right person within the team.
We've been unable to operate in this way for the last few weeks, since we have been working remotely we have had to adapt and adjust the way we deliver this service. Initially we offered specific time slots for people to head over to BYHP and collect a parcel- we had moved our food bank to one of our outdoor storage spaces so that entry to the building was minimal. After the first week and 'lockdown' restrictions were put into place we decided this wasn't the safest option. We then began to offer a delivery service. This took a lot of hard work and effort and wouldn't have been possible without the BYHP team pulling together and the amazing support from some of our wonderful volunteers and incredible weekly donations from Morrisons, the congregation at St. Mary's Church in Bloxham and various other supporters. From this week, we are encouraging people to begin collecting food parcels from our office again, however, this is still not able to happen as it would under normal circumstances. People can call or email us to arrange a time slot- someone from the team will take details of what they need in their parcel and organise a day and time for them to collect. At the agreed time, a member of our team will then take the food bank parcel to the front of our building and facilitate a no contact, distanced handover. For those who are unable to make it to BYHP, we have a lovely volunteer who is continuing to deliver. Our website is updated as/when the way we deliver this service changes. Here are a few snaps of some of the wonderful donations we have received and some parcels out for delivery;
Sticking with this week's topic of our Food Bank, we have so many people we would like to thank this week. First of all, thank you to our amazing volunteers for their incredible efforts during these crazy times.
Jim and Carol are regular volunteers with BYHP- we really would be lost without them, they go above and beyond and get involved with almost everything we do. Over the past few weeks they have helped collect and organise donations regularly.
John is also a regular volunteer with BYHP and has supported us for a number of years, he organises and delivers donations from the congregation at St. Mary's Church in Bloxham which he is part of. The congregation have been extremely generous with physical donations as well as money which we are able to use to buy essential missing items.
Luke who came on board to help with delivering parcels whilst he was furloughed from work, Andy who collected the first donation from Morrison's for us which was incredibly large and finally Kate who has come on board to help with deliveries to those who can't get to the office.
As well as our volunteers, we have had support from many other individuals, companies and clubs including Morrisons, Jamie Briggs, Nationwide, Rev Jeff Smith and his congregation, JDE, Mrs Stephens, Milkbeef, Sainsbury's and Co-op. We would not have been able to provide as many food bank parcels to our young people and their families without this level generosity. Thank you to each an every one of you who have supported us. Here are a few more pics of donations we have received and our volunteers lending a helping hand;
We will continue to operate our food bank in the same way we have been this week until further notice. We have 2 members of our team who are now working from the office with a great socially distanced setup. This enables them to accept donations and make up/hand out food bank parcels to those who need them. If you are able to support our food bank or any other services or would like to know more, please call 0295 259442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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