Slough Foodbank releases statistics for the full year 2020 – the 10th year of serving the Slough community.
Slough Foodbank statistics for 2020 show a shocking increase in the number of people needing help, with 37% more food parcels distributed this year versus last year.
Statistics for the full year 2020, versus 2019
Total number of food parcels: 6533, a 37% increase
Number of adults: 4168, a 36% increase
Number of children: 2365, a 38% increase
Total number of vouchers: 3025, a 27% increase.
Slough Foodbank believes these shocking statistics are the result of years of austerity, static incomes and cuts creating difficulties for many households even before the added issues that came with Covid-19. Now furlough schemes, job losses and ill health are compounding the problems faced by so many who have been barely keeping their heads above water for so long. 38% more children reflects the increase in families who are struggling.
Slough Foodbank Manager, Sue Sibany-King commented:
“I am immensely grateful to all of our donors, supporters, stakeholder organisations, volunteers and staff for all the hard work and efforts they have put in to ensure that we were able to remain open throughout the pandemic and have sufficient food to continue to do our role in the community of providing emergency, 3-day non-perishable, nutritionally balanced food parcels to those in food poverty.”
This year has been a huge challenge, not just from the significant increase in the number of people helped, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that Slough Foodbank has had to significantly change the way it operates. The speed and frequency of change has been incredible. Reinvention and adaptation have been absolutely critical. All of this with almost 50% less volunteers due to shielding. The foodbank has had to be brave and willing to experiment.
Significant changes to the way the foodbank runs include:
- Covid-19 compliance and social distancing at distribution centres and warehouse
- Only accepting e-vouchers from referral agencies
- An increase of over 30 new referral agencies during this pandemic
- Pre-packing food parcels in an additional warehouse (thanks to landlords SEGRO) to speed up distribution to clients
- Home deliveries to those in food poverty who are isolating and shielding
Robust procedures at Distribution Centres have been introduce including:
- Temperature checks
- Hand gel
- Face coverings
- Social Distancing of 2 meters
- Track and trace recording
- Disinfectant cleaning of chairs and other high touch surfaces
December 2020 marked Slough Foodbank’s 10-year anniversary of serving the local and surrounding communities – from Taplow in the West to Colnbrook in the East and from Gerrards Cross, The Farnhams and Iver to Datchet and parts of Windsor. However, this anniversary is not something they are celebrating. Foodbanks are here to support families in crisis – it is not a long-term solution; we need to see the government put a long-term solution in place.
Slough Foodbank Communications Officer, Becks Ford commented:
“We continue to see hopelessness as many just do not know what the future might hold and struggle with benefit delays and changes, low income, debt, job losses and homelessness. Sadly, these statistics for 2020 show there is lots for us to do to ensure we can provide food during a time of crisis and continue to help raise the profile of food poverty and lobby for those who are in need.
It is vitally important that we remain committed to supply food, home fuel and share our hope and encouragement that the community cares.”