SLOUGH FOODBANK HAS HAD TO QUICKLY AND CONTINUALLY ADAPT TO ENSURE WE GET FOOD TO THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST DURING COVID-19.
This page gives our current status with regards to operations and also offers information on other areas where you can get help.
Referral agencies please note: Clients must be in food poverty and have an electronic voucher to attend.
Referral agencies from outside of the Slough area must contact us by phone to let us know they have sent an e-voucher and we can give them advice for their clients with regards to where and when to attend.
Our aim continues to be to to get food parcels to those in need whilst at the same time keeping everyone safe.
HOW WE’VE RESPONDED
Significant changes to the way we run include:
- Operating from behind closed doors
- Social distancing at distribution centres and our warehouse
- Only accepting e-vouchers from referral agencies
- An increase of over 30 new referral agencies during this pandemic
- Purchasing urgent requirements when warehouse stocks ran low – donations of food and basic toiletries decreased due to restrictions on purchases from supermarkets
- Pre-packing food parcels in an additional warehouse (Thanks to landlords SEGRO) to speed up distribution to clients
- Home deliveries to those isolating and shielding.
WHO DO WE SUPPORT?
We support clients who are in food poverty because they do not have enough money to buy food. We provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are not able to help people who are unable to buy food given the current shortages in the supermarkets.
During the UK lockdown people are able to leave their house to get essential food items from supermarkets. People who are unable to afford food are also permitted to come to a Foodbank.
Clients must be in food poverty and must have an electronic voucher from a referral agency to attend.
Slough Foodbank partners with 155 referral agencies which include a wide range of care professionals such as the Job Centre, Slough Borough Council, Health Visitors, Children’s services, Children’s centres, schools and some churches. Whilst these referral agencies may not be seeing people face to face, many are available by phone and still can still refer people to Foodbank.
Clients need to give us their name on arrival and then stand back 2 metres and wait for their parcel.
Social distancing rules must be followed at all times.
Information on our Foodbank opening times is available
OPEN BUT OPERATING FROM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The latest government advice explains that food banks can legally continue operating and buildings that host food banks can continue to open for those sessions, provided we follow social distancing rules, because our work qualifies us as key workers ‘caring for the vulnerable’.
Our volunteers are allowed to leave the house to do essential Foodbank work. Although those who are classed as ‘at risk’ because they are over 70 or have a health condition must stay at home.
We are no longer inviting people into our distribution centres but we are operating from them, during normal times. We are giving out food parcels from behind closed doors. These food parcels are being pre-packed into carrier bags to try and smooth the process and help us to help people as effectively as possible, whilst limiting the possible risks.
Donating money or food
Slough Foodbank is doing everything we can to continue to provide people in food poverty with three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food.
We have a wish list with Easho, which enables online purchases of toiletries and avoids the need to drop off at our warehouse.
You can donate money to Slough Foodbank.
We are still accepting donations of food at our warehouse at set times:
411 Montrose Avenue, Slough, SL1 4TJ
Mondays 1-3pm, Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 12 noon
You will need to leave your donations on the tables outside the warehouse and ensure you observe 2m social distancing from others.
Community pulling together to offer help
We have been amazed and touched by the overwhelming positive responses we have received from people across the slough area from businesses, to community groups, to individuals. All pulling together to help those less fortunate in our community. Thank you for your support.
Alternative sources of help
There are many community groups offering help via social media as well as businesses with information to help people struggling to pay bills.
We will list below areas of help that we have been notified of.
Government NHS Coronavirus advice
Understanding Coronavirus and claiming benefits
Information about Coronavirus and claiming benefits is available on the Understanding Universal Credit website.
Turn 2 Us
Turn 2 Us provide a free and easy-to-use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools to check what benefits you might be able to claim and what grants you might be able to apply for.
Does your child receive free school meals?
Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home. Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
HAVING TROUBLE WITH TOPPING UP PREPAYMENT METER?
HAVING TROUBLE PAYING YOUR BILLS BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS?
Special financial support package, to temporarily reduce or postpone your water bill payments for three months (in certain circumstances) during the Covid 19 outbreak.
In brief, Thames Water will be able to support people if:
You need to stop work without pay, to either self-isolate or take care of children or a vulnerable family member
You’ve been made redundant, or told to take unpaid leave or reduced pay for a period of time
They are unable to offer people flexible payments if:
Your income has not been impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak, including if you’re receiving benefits, allowances or a pension
You’re employed and still receiving 80% or more of your normal pay
You’re self-employed and still largely working (80% or more)
For full details, please see here:
Advice for saving money on gas and electricity costs
Advice for Families on on a 1:1 basis on all aspects of saving money on gas and electricity costs at home, for their personal circumstances from the charity Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB).
There is a telephone advice line for families who would like information about ways to reduce their costs, or are worried about their gas and electricity bills.
You can contact the advice line run by Helen on: 0773 8887612 on a Tuesday and Thursday 9am – 3pm, from Thursday 23rd April to Thursday 7th May. She can ring you back straight away. If you would prefer to email, please do so at [email protected]
For more information see Helen’s webpage on the CCB website – https://ccb2017.wordpress.com/our-projects/energy-advice-and-fuel-poverty/