Ediblelinks Food Bank - March 2018
We were so thrilled to help and donate a fridge to the Ediblelinks Food Bank in North Warwickshire, UK. The food bank is a wonderful place that provides many community groups, schools and families with food each day. The community groups that they help support with food are groups who provide meals to people with dementia, community cooking classes to the public, and community groups who cook meals for the homeless. They receive food from Ocada, an online super market who gives them surplus stock, or food from canceled orders. They also receive food from private donations, as well as food that is collected at the local Co-op by the local people and food from other stores that cannot sell the food. They feed up to 50 families per week and the families they feed are referrals from social workers. They also provide schools with food for their breakfast program to feed children who wouldn’t have access to breakfast otherwise.
Together with the Partex UK staff, we visited and helped at the food bank hands on. The food bank has been running since April 2016. We met Sonya Johnson who is in charge of running the food bank. She is one of the 17 volunteers who contribute their time at the food bank. They are located in two warehouse units that are provided free from the local authorities as they are a registered charity. The food that they receive comes from Ocado an online super market who gives the food bank surplus stock, or canceled orders. Ocado has also provided Edible links with two vans to be able to transport food to people in need.
The way that the food bank works is that they receive a paper with a number on it from the social services, so they cannot identify the people in need by name. Depending on how many people are in the family, depends on the allowance and how much food they can get. On each order paper, the people have specified whether they need items for a baby, dietary restrictions or if they need hygiene products. A volunteer then takes the order paper and fills the order depending on age and gender. Each week the food bank feeds around 50 families. The people in need can also specify whether they have animals or not, as the food bank has cat food and dog food.
The food bank also contributes food to 35 schools for their breakfast program. They give cereals, bread, cereal bars, milk and water. The breakfast program allows children the access to breakfast in the morning who otherwise would not get breakfast. The breakfast program has been very beneficial in the schools, as they have seen positive results in the student’s performance. The food bank even gives food to the local zoo, as they receive animal food in some cases.
While helping at the food bank we met one mother who has two children and a working husband. However, her husband has a low-income job which is not enough money to support the family with food. She expressed that if it weren’t for the food bank that her and her family would starve. The only food that she and her family buy from the grocery store is milk and bread. Now with the new fridge we have donated to the food bank, they will be able to keep fresh milk on stock. Now this family can save some money from not having to buy milk at the store as they will be able to get fresh milk from the food bank now!