Norwich Foodbank gives out 12,000 food parcels in a year
Norwich Foodbank has risen to the challenge of meeting a growing need, giving out 12,000 emergency food parcels in the last year. Project Manager Hannah Worsley reports.
We are so grateful for God's faithfulness to us! Despite demand in 2019 being up, and donations - by weight - being down on 2018, we have still had more than enough to meet the needs of those we serve.
This is incredible, and reminds me of the feeding of the 5,000. Last year 12,000 boxes were given out, which is 22% up on 2018.
Supporters and donors made up 300 food parcels, which contributed to the 1,305 that went out to people referred to us in December alone.
This was a massive help as, at some of our busiest times, our centres were running out and needed to be topped up. At times our volunteers were packing boxes and putting them straight into cars to go to our centres.
Thanks to the generosity of so many, we have enough food to meet demand. Packing the parcels, however, takes time, so having some come in pre-packed by our supporters was extremely helpful.
Several churches got groups together to pack boxes, including Carleton Rode, Gage Road Chapel, Princes Street URC, and Ipswich Road URC.
Feedback from individuals and families who packed parcels at Norwich Foodbank was so encouraging:
“The way you did it last year worked really well for me. I was especially pleased to bring the hamper to you as I saw, for the first time, where you are and how much food you receive. I was quite amazed, and whoever I spoke to was so lovely and friendly. You may certainly pop my name down for a hamper this year.”
“It was no problem to donate to your Christmas hampers. I’m so glad it was well received. I did enjoy sourcing products for the parcels. I’d be happy to do it again if you do it again this year.”
“I very much enjoyed doing the Christmas hampers. It felt a lot more personal than the weekly drop of a few items into the Sainsbury collection point. I hope you will do this again for Christmas 2020.”
“It was helpful to have the list sent out so I knew what sort of items were needed. It was actually quite fun to choose some Christmas items to add to the collection.”
One of our Trustees is involved in the national charity, the St Vincent de Paul Society. Part of their giving comes in the form of Vinnie Packs, including gloves, thermals, toothpaste, toothbrush and pen, which are especially useful for rough sleepers.
With winter grant funding, we have these available at all our distribution centres to give out to anyone who comes who is sleeping rough. These have been well received; and will continue to be so as the weather continues to be cold.
If you would like to donate to the foodbank, we are most in need of: long life fruit juice, tinned meat, long-life sponge puddings, tomato-based pasta sauce, cereal bars and deodorant. We are very well stocked with baked beans, cereal, pasta, soup and sanitary ware. Thank you!
We are also grateful for any and all financial donations; details of how to give can be found on our website - www.norwichfoodbank.co.uk