In Impact Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage, Aylesbury Vale

Project: Preparing and equiping Aylesbury Foodbank’s new central warehouse to more effectively distribute food boxes to those in need
Grant: £3,000
Fund: Kop Hill Climb Fund

Aylesbury Foodbank distributes food boxes to the four distribution centres around the town from its central warehouse, ensuring that people in crisis are able to feed themselves and their families.

The philosophy of the Aylesbury Foodbank is to provide assistance that will help people get through a crisis and onto a longer term and sustainable solution. Once a person has been referred to the food bank with a voucher to redeem a food box, they receive more than just food. As well as offering toiletries, sanitary products, pet food and even nappies, Aylesbury Foodbank also sign-posts people in need to organisations and funding sources that can help them to resolve their situation.

The demand for emergency food parcels has increased steadily since the foodbank was set up in 2016. Having recently moved into a larger premise for their warehouse, packing operations and offices, Aylesbury Foodbank needed support setting up the new premises and getting it operating to full capacity.

With a grant of £3,000 from the Kop Hill Climb Fund, Aylesbury Foodbank has been able to carry out necessary building work in the new unit, buy packing materials and equipment for the warehouse and equip and furnish a rest room for their volunteers and staff.

When asked about the impact of the grant towards the end of 2019, Aylesbury Foodbank said that they’d provided 27,342 meals to local people in crisis that year so far. This is a 54.2% increase over the same period last year, which could not have been achieved in their previous, smaller warehouse. Aylesbury Foodbank have been able to increase the number and spread of distribution points over the year, with each point offering people in crisis the opportunity to have a drink, speak to someone about their difficulties and receive advice on a longer term solution. On the first and third Saturdays each month, the drop-in also offers a meal, with over 100 people being fed on average each time.

 

Case study from an Aylesbury Foodbank representative:

Whilst attending ‘Play in the Park’ in August we were approached by a lady with two children. She was in a bit of a state, saying her husband had walked out on them a few weeks before and, although she had put in a claim for Universal Credit, it would be a few more weeks before she would get any assistance. They were running out of money for food and she asked if we could help; she wasn’t sure we could as the children had a number of allergies and would require dairy and gluten free foods. We took her details and phoned her to say we had donations in that would let us do a special box for her. We arranged a place and time for her to collect it. She was so grateful and said the box would make an immense difference and would stop the worry she’d been experiencing. We continued to support the family until her Universal Credit started.