Providing emergency food to people in crisis.
How Slough Foodbank works
Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference. Once the immediate problem of hunger and lack of food is met, the people receiving help are better able to think about their problems and get help to tackle them. Other benefits of Foodbanks include helping prevent crime as they don’t need to steal food, helping prevent housing loss as rent money isn’t spent on food, helping to limit family breakdown as some of the stress and arguments are reduced and mental health problems caused by stress and pressure are relieved.
Food is donated
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food and toiletries to the Foodbank. Large collections take place as part of Harvest Festival celebrations and food is also collected at supermarkets as well as being delivered direct to the warehouse.
In 2019 the warehouse managed 60 tonnes of stock in and 60 tonnes stock out, with December being the busiest month where 11 tonnes came into the warehouse and 7 tonnes were distributed out. During December an additional 192 Christmas hampers were prepared distributed.
Christmas adds so much pressure to people living in food poverty. Slough Foodbank selected Christmas treats and goodies from the generous donations received and put together hampers which they hope sent a message of love and helped in a small way to make the Christmas season more enjoyable for those who are in crisis.
The hampers typically included chocolate biscuit selections packs, mince pies, crisps, pickles, custard, tinned ham or salmon, crackers, tea, Christmas pudding, chocolates as well as a toiletries gift pack.
Food is sorted and stored
Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date, it is stored in strict date order in the warehouse and packed it into boxes to be sent to the distribution centres ready to be given to people in need.
Professionals identify people in need
Slough Foodbank partners with 155 referral agencies which include a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, children’s services and children’s centres and police to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
Clients receive food
Slough Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a one of 4 distribution centres, open 5 days a week across the Slough area where it can be redeemed for three days emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits and specially trained volunteers take time to chat and signpost people to local and national support agencies able to help with the longer-term problems.
More than food
Slough Foodbank provide additional help and support alongside an emergency food parcel. In addition to food, Slough Foodbank also provides basic toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, toilet roll, razors and shaving foam as well as baby food and nappies.
Slough Fuelbank is a one off top up to home energy (gas or electric) to help clients to heat/cook the food we provide. Too often people are forced to make a decision between food and fuel.
Slough Foodbank also creates activity calendars to give a guide to ‘What’s on’ in the Slough area. In addition to a General calendars, specific calendars are provided for: ‘Homeless’, ‘Older People’, ‘Pre-School and babies’ and ‘School children & teens’.
Slough Foodbank asks clients if they have any pets and then provides pet food accordingly. This helps to keep the pets in the family and stop food being fed to pets instead of clients.