Doncaster Foodbank

About Doncaster Foodbankfoodbank_logo

  • Doncaster foodbank became fully operational on September 25th 2013.
  • Doncaster foodbank provides emergency nutritionally balanced non-perishable food for families and individuals in crisis.
  • Food parcels contain foods such as tinned fruit, vegetables, meat and fish as well as pasta, cereals, UHT milk, tea and long-life juice.
  • The food parcels provide a family or individual who is struggling to put food on the table with three days’ supply of food.
  • All food given out is donated by the public, whether by schools, churches, businesses, individuals, or through supermarket collections.
  • Such supermarkets collections engage the public through our volunteers offering shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and asking them to buy an extra item with their shop.
  • Food is distributed at the foodbank centre in Christ Church on Thorne Road.
  • It is open to distribute food parcels on Wednesdays from 11am to 1pm and on Fridays from 1pm to 3pm.
  • Doncaster foodbank clients are given a foodbank voucher by frontline care professionals such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, health visitors and social workers if they judge them to be in need of emergency food.
  • Currently we have 16 voucher issuers who are able to reach clients in most parts of the Borough, with more expected to be added soon.
  • Foodbank clients can receive a maximum of three foodbank vouchers in a row (each voucher can be redeemed for at least three days food), although longer term support is available at the discretion of the foodbank manager.
  • The foodbank takes time to welcome and listen to clients, signposting them to further support to help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.
  • Doncaster foodbank is non-judgemental and inclusive, providing assistance to people of all backgrounds and all faiths or none who are found to be in genuine need.
  • We have partnered with the Trussell Trust, a national charity whose experience and expertise in this area has led to over 340 foodbanks operating throughout the UK. http://www.trusselltrust.org/
  • In 2012-13 Trussell Trust foodbanks gave three days emergency food to 346,992 people nationwide.
  • The Trussell Trust is a Christian charity that does not affiliate itself with any political party and receives no government funding.
  • We hope to provide food for around 900 Doncaster people in the first year of operation.
  • Our main purpose is to reduce hunger and improve physical health and wellbeing.
  • Through the signposting service offered, we will indirectly help some clients with housing issues and help other clients to establish a personal money management programme to enable freedom from debt or financial difficulty.
  • Doncaster foodbank can help to prevent housing loss, mental health problems, family breakdown and crime.
  • This community project at its heart is about Doncaster people helping other Doncaster people in crisis.
  • The foodbank is passionate that nobody should go hungry in Doncaster.
  • To date we have opened for 4 sessions and have already fed 44 adults and children

 

Funding

  • The Trussell Trust provides us with expertise and support but does not provide any source of funding.
  • The foodbank is staffed entirely by volunteers but we do have running costs that are likely to be around £5000 per year.
  • We have received grant funding from Doncaster Rotary Club, the Cinnamon Trust and the Cooperative Membership Fund as well as individual gifts both one off and regular and some gifts from Churches, including the use of premises to both store food and operate from..
  • It would be ideal if we could fund the salary of a Foodbank manager and the purchase and running costs of a vehicle for transporting food.

 

Volunteers

  • The number of volunteers we have in total is 84.

 

Community involvement

  • The public through 5 days of supermarket collections have so far donated 3900 kg of food.
  • 5 schools have donated food.
  • 4 Doncaster businesses have food collection points for their staff and in one case their customers also.
  • Around 20 Doncaster churches have some involvement with the foodbank having food collection points in their buildings, providing volunteers or giving one off food donations or financial gifts.
  • We have been amazed and touched by the generosity we have encountered.
  • People are increasingly aware that there is a food poverty problem and that they can do something positive to meet that need.

Storage

  • The amount of food we currently have in store in the Christ Church building in just 3½ months of collecting food is 6600 kg.
  • We expect in due course to carry stock levels rather less than this.
  • We are at the limit of our current storage capacity in the Christ Church building, although there is the possibility of creating some extra storage, should it be necessary.

 

Looking ahead

  • I think that Doncaster foodbank now has a solid base from which we can begin to help some of the neediest people in our community, unfortunately knowing that in all likelihood the demand for this service will grow in the foreseeable future.
  • We need to be prepared for the long haul.
  • In the longer term Doncaster foodbank may need to consider having satellite food distribution centres around Doncaster, closer to where clients live, holding small stocks of food coming from central storage at Christ Church.
  • As the foodbank grows so the need to employ a salaried foodbank manager will become more urgent and the need to purchase a vehicle for transporting food.

 

Need for a forum or event

It would be beneficial for groups involved with food poverty to be able to meet from time to time to exchange ideas and best practice