The story of Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank began in October 2011 with a cup of coffee and an afternoon chat between two ministers – Rev. Ashley Cooper and Rev. Ron Willoughby. They were dismayed to hear that 1 in 3 children in Stoke-on-Trent was living below the ‘bread line’ and asked: “How can we as a church help?”
A team of people travelled to Plymouth to look at a Trussell Trust Foodbank in operation and the seed was sewn.
A few months later we had a functional warehouse – members of Wesley Hall Methodist Church had cleared the church basement, Ron had moved out of his office and United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) had donated metal shelving. We partnered with over 50 ‘front-line’ agencies who would give out up to 3 food vouchers to people who were in crisis and we set up 7 Distribution Centres who would give out the food across the City.
On 3rd May 2012 Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank opened it’s doors…
Since that day the generous people of Stoke-on-Trent have donated March 2012 to March 2021 over 889,739 kg of food enabling us to give out three days supply of nutritionally balanced, long-life food to over 99,390 people of which over 37,800 are children.
We now have 14 Distribution Centres covering the whole of Stoke-on-Trent with 15 sessions per week, a dedicated warehouse space using the whole of an empty Methodist Church building with a compact office space.
The need is still there… 43.2% of children in Stoke-on-Trent are living in poverty, after housing expenses. Poverty Commission – Stoke-on-Trent, 2021).