In the wake of Covid-19, much has changed. Food banks have seen many more people in need of a food parcel and they are expecting this need to grow over the coming months. Food banks have adapted to continue to support people during these difficult times, and in some parts of Shropshire new community food initiatives have been set up to support people with food.
It’s wonderful to hear that many people have donated food and financial support to food banks during this time. Food banks depend on donations from their local community, so please keep this up! We have created an easy step by step guide to donating to your local food bank.
1. Find your local food bank – On Shropshire Larder we have compiled a list of the food banks across the county and included their addresses and contact details.
2. What can you give? - The needs and wants of a food bank can change a lot as their stocks are dependent on unpredictable donations. You can check a food banks Facebook page or website to see if they are asking for anything specific. However, the following foods are always needed:
· Pasta/ rice
· Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
· Tinned meat/fish
· Tinned vegetables/ fruit
· UHT milk
· Fruit juice
· Pet food
Some food banks also appreciate fresh fruit and veg from your garden, but it is best to check if they can take it. The same goes for non-food items – such as toiletries, household cleaning products and baby supplies.
Financial donations are also very welcome. Food banks often need to buy in items to make up their food parcels, especially if they are supporting people with dietary needs. Check with your local food bank for how you can donate to them.
3. Where to donate? - You can drop off directly to the food bank or at their local collection point. Usually this is in a local supermarket, so you can buy a few extra bits with your shopping and drop them off after the checkout. We have listed all the collection points for each food bank on our website.
4. Want to donate but currently shielding? - Get in touch with your food bank, some people who are shielding are ordering online and asking the supermarket to deliver straight to the food bank. Or just donating the money directly.
5. Tell your friends! - Donating is easy and whatever you can afford to give is greatly appreciated.
6. Where to go if you need food support – If you or someone you know is struggling financially and cannot afford enough food then a food bank may be able to offer support with food parcels. Most food banks need you to get a referral from an agency you are in touch with who knows
about your circumstances. This might be a housing association, a school, a council representative, a health professional. If you are unsure who to ask for a referral please phone the food bank direct and they will explain how to get a referral. There is no shame in using a food bank, they are there for those that need it.
Food banks are there to support people who fall into food poverty. Poverty is a complex issue, caused by a number of factors. At the moment many people are losing their incomes due to Covid-19, and it is likely that many more will do so over the coming months. Lack of income can easily lead to a spiral of debt. Food banks want to support anyone who is waiting for their first Universal Credit payment, or are struggling financially for other reasons.
It is vital that as a community we come together to support our friends and neighbours.
Photo: Staffs Live