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If you were in a crisis – where would you turn?
West Berks Foodbank
Many of us have friends, family or church family to turn to when the going gets tough. But what if your family could no longer help and you had nowhere else to go? What if the children were hungry, the cupboards bare and you’re not sure where the next meal is coming from?
That’s where West Berks Foodbank helps by giving people food and support when they need it most - helping to avert greater disaster and greater poverty.
During 2015 the Foodbank fed 1,931 adults and 1,063 children, a total of 2,994 hungry people.
More and more people live close to the edge of their finances. When crisis hits - such as sudden illness, relationship breakdown, redundancy, or just the general recession - such people have no financial safety net. And that can lead to a struggle to put food on the table.
West Berks Foodbank was set up in March 2013 to provide for this need.
How West Berks Foodbank works
All our food and other goods is donated by local people.
If you'd like to donate food, please choose one or two items from our Food List.
- This is then taken to our Warehouse in Greenham Business Park. The Warehouse is entirely funded by the Greenham Common Trust. Here volunteers sort the donated goods to ensure that the shortest dated items are used first.
- West Berks Foodbank works with front-line care professionals, such as Social Services, Health visitors and Doctors, Clergy and CA, who identify people in crisis and give them a Foodbank voucher. Due to the withdrawal of the services of West Berks Council we have recently set up a Crisis Help line telephone which is manned Mon-Fri from - . (01635 760560). Anyone with a food crisis can ring this number to talk through their problem and if it appears appropriate be directed to one of the distribution centres.
- The 4 Distribution Centres are located at Thatcham Baptist Church, (Monday and Thursday) Newbury Salvation Army Hall, (Tuesday and Friday) Hungerford Methodist Church (Wednesday) and Lambourn Roman Catholic Church.(Monday). We are open from - on these days.
I have a voucher - where do I take it?
Take your voucher to the Foodbank distribution centre. Here you will be given three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food. We are sometimes able to offer in addition a loaf of bread and some fresh fruit. If we have stock available, we can provide other goods, e.g. shower gel, shampoo and deodorant, toilet rolls, washing powder and washing up liquid.
How many vouchers can I have?
Up to 3 vouchers which hopefully will see you through your immediate crisis. However in exception circumstances this can be extended. While your food parcel is being prepared, a volunteer will offer a warm drink and a biscuit. They will also be available should you like to have a chat. Your food parcel is packed into supermarket carrier bags or you prefer to bring your own bags these can be used instead. Foodbank volunteers take the time to listen and to offer support.
At present the Foodbank has 107 volunteers covering warehouse duties, distribution centres, administration and collecting.
Parish lunches take place in Church on the third Monday of every month at .
The cost is £6 for:
- a hot, home-cooked meal
- a choice of dessert
- tea or coffee
Transport can be arranged.
How do I book a place?
To book a place or find out more, please contact Chris Buck (contact details below).
How can I help?
We always welcome volunteers to help us provide this service so please contact Chris Buck (contact details below) if you'd like to help.