Foodbank Newsletter 

Dear Kind Supporter,

We wanted to thank you for your generous support over the past year, and to give you an up-date on the Food Bank in 2021. As you can imagine, it was another busy year for us - but thanks to a huge team of dedicated volunteers, and to the generosity of donors, we have been able to continue to meet the needs of clients who come to us for emergency help.

The start of the Covid pandemic (in early 2020) seems a long time ago now, but at that point we saw a huge spike in demand - and had to adapt so much about the way we operate to ensure that we could continue to support those in need during the lockdowns and economic turmoil that followed for so many. These changes included delivering food parcels to clients and setting up an on-line referral system and moving our stock (into St Clare’s church). Client numbers continued the upward trend in 2021 - albeit thankfully at a lower rate - but reduced restrictions mean that we have been able to encourage clients back in to collect their own parcels (now delivering only in exceptional circumstances) and this month we are starting up cafes at 2 of our 4 client sessions again. We are looking forward to welcoming clients back in for a chat as they collect parcels - and opening up further in the time ahead.

A sheet of stats is attached with some headline information on basic reasons for clients requesting help and sources of referrals, and a comparative graph showing numbers of clients over the past 3 years.   As you can see, as well as providing weekly food parcels, we also gave out significant sums of money (in gas & electricity vouchers) to support clients who found themselves in fuel poverty - and expect this need to continue in the light of rising fuel prices.

As in previous years, we organised and put together a special additional bag for each household in the run up to Christmas, filled with seasonal goodies donated by local schools, businesses, community groups, churches & individuals.  We were also able to include a supermarket voucher for everyone in these bags - which clients have been hugely grateful for.  

Our up-date for 2021 cannot fail to include reference to the tragic loss of our much loved Coordinator, Heather Roche, who led us so skilfully through the challenges of the past few years. Jo stepped up to be Interim Coordinator after Heather’s untimely death, and volunteers have pulled together to continue to keep the Food Bank running - as Heather herself would have wished of course.

We continue to be overwhelmed by the level of support we have received from donors such as yourselves. There is so much to be grateful for and we could not continue to operate without you... so thank you once again. 

May we wish you well in 2022.

With thanks from Jo, Zoe & Les and the Foodbank team 
North Guildford Food Bank 

Food Bank Stats

 Church Life