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 over 436,000kg of food enabling us to give out three days supply of nutritionally balanced, long-life food to over 49,000 people of which over 18,800 are children.
We now have 15 Distribution Centres covering the whole of Stoke-on-Trent, a dedicated warehouse space using the whole of an empty Methodist Church building and an office space donated by the Hanley Community Fire Station.
The need is still there…38% of households in Stoke-on-Trent are living on less than £16,000 per year (the minimum amount required to access basic goods and services in Britain. Hardship Commission – Stoke-on-Trent, 2015).