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.
In 2020 the warehouse managed 87 tonnes of stock in and 80 tonnes out of 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, with December being the busiest month where 15 tonnes came into the warehouse and 9.5 tonnes were distributed out. During December we held a Christmas Bazaar, where clients were invited to select Christmas treats and goodies.
Christmas adds so much pressure to people living in food poverty. Slough Foodbank selected Christmas treats and goodies from the generous donations received and held a Christmas Bazaar where clients were invited to come and choose items. We hope this 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 Christmas Bazaar included chocolate biscuit selections packs, mince pies, crisps, pickles, custard, tinned ham or salmon, crackers, tea, Christmas pudding, chocolates as well as a toiletries.
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 then packed into food parcels of varying sizes including single, couple, small family and large family. We also have special packs for the homeless which include single servings with ring pull cans and food that does not need to be heated before being eaten. These pre-prepared food parcels are then sent to the distribution centres ready to be given to people in need. In addition to food we also provide basic toiletries.
Professionals identify people in need
Slough Foodbank partners with over 200 referral agencies to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. Referral agencies include: a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, children’s services and children’s centres, the job centre, probation services and police .
Clients receive food
Slough Foodbank clients attend one of 5 distribution centres, open 6 days a week across the Slough area. Clients must have been referred to us and have had an e-voucher issued which is then 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 limited 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 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.