Basingstoke Foodbank – supporting local people out of crisis
With the help of volunteers from churches and the community, Basingstoke Foodbank continues to reach out to people in need throughout the region. Over double the number of people were fed in 2020 compared to 2019, and during the Spring of 2020 almost four times as many people per month were fed than usual. On average we have been feeding between 700 – 1000 people monthly and distributing on average over 8 tonnes of fresh and non-perishable food every month.
The Covid pandemic has had a notable impact on the people of Basingstoke & Deane. According to our referral agencies, people’s incomes have been affected by such reasons as job loss, reduced furlough income, domestic violence, increased food and energy bills, debt and sickness. Our volunteers work tirelessly to keep up with the increase in demand. We continue to deliver to people’s homes, so we have increased our delivery & collections driver team throughout the pandemic. Also, we’ve ‘grown’ a ‘Caller team’ who phone clients to provide a compassionate listening service in the absence of being able to sit and chat to clients in the Centre over a cuppa.
We passionately believe that in addition to feeding people, our clients should be linked with specific local agencies who can offer support to alleviate some of their many challenges, be they financial, physical, emotional, and circumstantial. Long term food insecurity can lead to additional problems such as depression, anxiety, ill health and stress.
We have received an increase in generous financial donations from the community which has meant that the Foodbank has been able to buy additional fresh food, and non-perishable food when shortages occur. This year we are planning for some exciting new development initiatives once lockdown is over, including: operating the Foodbank from several community-focused churches in the area, plus the provision of access in our new locations to debt support, money advice, job clubs and mental health signposting. Watch for further news to come!
Chair of Trustees