During the year of Covid the Keynsham Food Bank has seen a massive increase of 60% in the number of people they are supporting.
As they come almost to the end of their fiscal year the Keynsham Food Bank are reporting an astounding increase in the number of people that the food bank has supported to alleviate food crisis. This increase has been dealt with successfully thanks to the continued support and generosity of the people who make individual donations through the supermarket drop boxes as well as other sources that make generous donations.
During the same period the food bank has had to deal with two moves of warehouse finally settling at its current home in Marksbury.
Project Manager Alan Hale told us “It has been a very challenging time for us but I am immensely proud of the volunteers who have worked extremely hard to ensure that we continued to deliver the service to those who needed our support. Also a big thank you to Keynsham and District Dial A Ride who do the deliveries for us.”
Since April 1st 2020 the food bank has supported over 2000 people which is a 59% increase on their 2019/20 requirements.
“I am always at pains to make clear to people that Food Banks are not synonymous with benefits” Mr Hale continued “and this year has reinforced that fact as over 25% of those we have supported have been referred to us due to them being on a low income and meeting challenges whilst still trying to live. There are many many families out there in our community who lead extremely hard lives and it is heart-warming that the community comes together to support and help them with their donations of food and money and my grateful thanks go out to them. The sad fact is that any of us might one day find ourselves in distinctly different circumstances. The food bank and its volunteers are not judgemental.”
The food bank hopes to return to its normal model of operation with their three distribution centres open in July to receive clients to come and collect the food. For the time being deliveries will continue and when the centres open some deliveries may still be possible.
In the meantime the food bank does not anticipate a downturn in demand, if anything there may well be an increase as the true figure of those likely to be out of employment becomes clear as the lock down starts to wind down.
There are non perishable food donation drop boxes at Tesco in Keynsham and Saltford, Waitrose, Saltford Hall when open, Pensford Post Office and Chew Magna Coop. The food bank covers Keynsham, Saltford, the Chew Valley and the neighbouring part of South Gloucestershire.
Anyone wishing to make a financial donation to the food bank can do so via sort code 60-12-11 Account number 26641860. Should any group wish to receive a talk about the food bank, currently via Zoom, then that can be arranged by contacting the food bank at [email protected].