This newsletter is an update on our work to ensure that no one faces going hungry in Stoke-on-Trent. How have been able to adapt our practices to the challenges of 2020 and how we are well placed to face the year ahead. An Easter message from our Chair of Trustees, Keith Stubbs, a look to the future from our Operations Manager, Corrine, and information on our 2021 AdLent Calendar for those who are looking to give at this time.
In 2020 the social and economic impact of Covid-19 was far-reaching, and still is -job losses, reduced hours and delays in benefit payments has meant that thousands of people have not had enough money for the basics.
During Lockdown 1, 50% of people using foodbanks had never used a foodbank before.
Currently 68,000 people locally are over-indebted, in other words unable to pay current bills.
Over one third of local children are in food poverty – facing uncertainty about where the next meal will come from.
During 2020, Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank fed nearly 14,000 people, 1,552 in December alone.
Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank and it’s church-based centres has been meeting the needs of those in food poverty since 2012. Our centres manned by 200 plus volunteers, welcome guests and give the gift of food, showing kindness and compassion to people (in what may be feeling like a harsh and cruel world.)
People in temporary food crisis, who’ve been identified as in real need of food by a professional organisation, are issued with an e-voucher and they exchange this for 3 days of nutritionally balanced food to feed themselves and their household.
It’s about more than food , we also work with Money Matters and other local charities and organisations, so that our guests are offered advice and help with the crisis situation that brought them to the foodbank. So that as well as food for today, our guests might be able to access a brighter, more secure future.
Thanks to generous support of donors and volunteers, and our determination to quickly adapt to Covid-19 safe practices, we have been able to continue to do this throughout 2020, and into 2021 ensuring that no one has to face going hungry. December 2020 alone, we fed 1,552 people with 13,698 meals.
Our centres were quickly adapted to Covid-19 safe working practices; with many frontline services that usually refer people to us not able to work face to face, to combat this we extended our staffing capacity to assist people in food crisis. We have also moved from a paper-based red voucher system to a digital e-voucher system. We have ensured that follow on help is still available, with leaflets and telephone conversations communicating this.
Easter – a message of hope
From our Chair of Trustees Keith Stubbs:
Like Advent is a preparing for Christmas Lent in the Christian Calendar is a special time of reflection and faith in preparation for Easter. Some observe Lent with pray and the act of giving something up. Many look to Jesus’ example, how he wants His followers to live.
That’s what foodbanks aim to do – to help people out of poverty and suffering, bringing hope.
Matthew 5:14 Jesus asks his followers to be light. Churches through foodbank activities, can be a beacon of hope to their communities.
Also, in Luke chapter 10 Jesus told us to love our neighbours, like the Good Samaritan who met the needs of an injured man that he saw by the roadside and, unlike others, he was non-judgemental, and cared for him (taking up his time and money) showing kindness and compassion.
Jesus met people where they were at, and helped them out of their suffering.
Working together for change
From our Operations Manager, Corrinne:
We want to see the end of people needing to use foodbanks, we are working towards this, although we don’t think that this is going to happen in the near future.
We work strategically in partnership with a variety of local stakeholders, in order to reduce the need for emergency food in our community, and input statistics and other evidence through the Trussell Trust to influence government policy, to make changes to create a system where no one is left behind.
Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank is one of 19 foodbanks selected by the Trussell Trust to be part of their national consultation Pathfinder Programme to share best practice and support the wider network to ensure that this happens.
We are extremely grateful for the ongoing generous support that we have receive from churches, local people, families, communities and businesses, especially, in response to the Pandemic, and value prayer for our work in such challenging times.
Please follow our work and see how your donations have helped make a difference – see our website and follow us on social media
Back due to popular demand, for those looking to give at this time, we are running our AdLent
We understand that everyone has been impacted by the pandemic so we wanted to update people primarily on our work with this message of hope, but if you are able to give and it won’t be a burden, we have included these details for you. On the calendar you will find 40 days of suggested food items for you to buy, tick the box and donate to Stoke-on-Trent foodbank, at our warehouse or through a supermarket donation point if you are unable to get to our warehouse – if you use the supermarket collection point, we’d love to see a picture of your food collection, please email to: [email protected]
AdLent 2021 Appeal, see
PLEASE NOTE : We are faith based but not faith-biased. Foodbanks can be seen by many, of different or no faith as an example of selfless giving and hope. People from many different backgrounds generously contribute to, and benefit from, our work.