How and When did Foodbank start?
Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust and was formed in Salisbury in 2000. The idea came about when food was being collected and sent out to those in need in Bulgaria. In 2012 Uckfield businessmen Peter Roe and Peter Taylor decided to investigate the need for emergency supplies in the UK as their research found that Foodbank outlets were growing elsewhere in the UK. .
It was found that there are over 13 million people living below the poverty line in the UK, representing roughly 20% of the population living below national average income.
Now – in 2015 – there are over 420 branches of Foodbank in the UK, helping people in many crisis situations. Even circumstances such poorly insulated homes can lead to horrendous fuel bills having a knock on effect.
How is food made up and distributed?
All food is donated by individuals, via supermarkets such as Tesco and Waitrose, who have permanent donation points where food is collected in large trolleys. In Uckfield about 10 trolleys per month are collected in this way. Some schools and surgeries also offer donation points. Volunteers, around 70 in Uckfield, then categorise food and it is made up into boxes for individuals and families of up to 5 people, all overseen by nutritionists and dieticians.
About 40 agencies are involved in the Foodbank process, including the CAB, who regularly deal with a number of issues. Initially when an inquiry is dealt with, agencies will work with a family or individual to solve their problems, with the immediate aim of getting them back to normality. Initially 3 vouchers are issued per crisis, however it can take up to 12 weeks to solve issues.
‘Restoring Dignity, Reviving Hope’
Foodbank aim to provide a service where the recipient feels cared for and helps to take the pressure off an otherwise very challenging situation.
Regular funding is required to continue the ongoing work of Foodbank, some of which is kindly provided by the council and the Uckfield Lions and Rotary have also been approached for funding. The office has recently moved from Kings Church to The Source (opposite the Civic Centre).
If you would like to help Foodbank in any way please contact Sharon Burt on 01825 745489.