Today in Totnes there are families struggling to put food on the table. Redundancy, benefit delay or even an unexpected bill can create a tipping point for a family, and can mean going hungry. People are being forced to choose between paying the rent and eating. Totnes Food Bank provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis.
There are over 200 community food banks already open in "Breadline Britain", but we want ours to set an example to others. Our food bank is firmly rooted in the local community and is being run almost entirely by volunteers. According to Defra, food prices increased by 26% between June 2007 and June 2011 – or over 12% after adjusting for inflation. That means household food budgets are under pressure, and food banks are becoming increasingly important in serving emergency needs
Foodbanks help to prevent family breakdown, the loss of the family home, crime and mental health problems.
WHO WE HELP
We assist those who - for whatever reason - cannot afford to buy basic foodstuffs. We will provide these foods free of charge, and - in certain circumstances - we will deliver them too.
WHY WE DO IT
13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. This is a surprisingly large percentage of the total population. Yet an amazing quantity of food is disposed of every day by supermarkets, most of it being carried to central depots for destruction. While saving the transportation costs of these products we can also alleviate the very real needs of the local community.
WHAT WE DO
We operate a discrete, confidential service that refuses to judge or condemn. We offer a hand-up not just hand-outs. We do not question referrals from our approved agents, but trust their discernment. Our building, staff, and delivery vehicles are not identifiable as being associated with a food bank. We can also provide contact details of other agencies who can help through an individual's journey back to financial independence.
If you need help, this is the precedure to follow: firstly, contact us using the email address Carol@foodbankcommunity.com. We will arrange to meet with you and find out your specific needs. If appropriate, we will provide assistance for as long as the referring agencies deem necessary. It is always seen as a temporary measure - e.g. through a period of financial hardship and you are back on your feet.
If you would like to get involved with the Food Bank Totnes, or simply want to check us out, then please contact us on 01803 840354 to arrange a meeting.
We cover Totnes and the immediate surrounding area. If you live outside of this area and need help then we can advise you where to apply. (Food banks are also established in Torbay, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, Newton Abbot
and - from January 2013 - Ivybridge).
The Food Bank Totnes is a Christian community project that does not affiliate itself with any political party, nor does it currently receive any government funding. We are non-judgemental and inclusive, providing assistance to people of all backgrounds and faiths, who are found to be in genuine need. For more information please contact: Totnes@communityfoodbank.org.uk
THE NEED IS GREAT!
Of 2000 mothers surveyed by Netmums recently, 1 in 5 regularly go without meals to feed their children, 16% are being treated for stress-related illnesses and one third are borrowing money from friends and family to stay afloat. Most mothers stated that their situation is worse than a year ago with less money coming in.
10 years ago, crime statistics showed that most items stolen from shops were luxury items. Today the majority of thefts involve basic foodstuffs and toiletries.
THE NEED WILL GET GREATER
(Reported by The Guardian, August 2012): Local authorities are preparing to invest in charity-run food banks to cope with an expected deluge in demand for crisis help from low income families hit by welfare cuts.
Cuts next year to the social fund, which provides emergency aid to
vulnerable people, mean that from April 2013 many councils will no longer be able to provide cash help to applicants. Instead they will offer "in kind" support such as referring clients to food banks and issuing electronic food vouchers.
The move, which is being considered by both Labour and Conservative councils as well as the Welsh government, will for the first time build voluntarily donated food distribution into mainstream welfare provision, and will be regarded by critics as a dramatic substitution of the state's obligations in favour of ad hoc voluntary assistance.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We need people (volunteers) with time to spare. We need finance and produce. We need fridges / freezers & coolboxes, and - most of all - we need a VAN!
HOW CAN YOU GIVE?
Monetary donations are gratefully received, indeed we cannot function without them! If you would like to make an online donation, please proceed to the Donate page of this web site by clicking here.
The other way you can help is by donating food. Click here to see where and when you can make deliveries.The type of food that is most suitable is:- dried rice, pasta and noodles, tinned soups, meat, vegetables and puddings, sugar, tea and coffee, biscuits, squash & cereals, UHT drinks - milk & fruit juice, dried foods & non perishables.