The Foodbank is a result of an initiative of Paul Guest of Trafford Christian Life Centre. From a series of meetings, starting in September 2012, it was decided that a Foodbank would be opened in Stretford and also we should operate under The Trussell Trust scheme.
The Foodbank management has been facilitated through the churches of Trafford Christian Life Centre (from who’s premises we operate), St. Matthews C of E, St. Ann’s R.C. and The Salvation Army. The Steering Group for the management of the foodbank is comprised of a member from each of the above churches.
Although we adhere to the ethos of the Christian Principal, I was hungry and you fed me. It isn’t a necessity to be of the Christian Faith to obtain an emergency food parcel from us. We serve all faiths and none and the helpers for The Foodbank are drawn from all sections of our community.
In the matter of simple statistics from opening in 2013 to October 2014, we fed 746 adults and children, 1370 for 2014 to 2015 and 837 up to 29th February 2016. A total of 2953 people.
A Foodbanks functionality is to provide an emergency food parcel to those in need. It is suggested that an emergency whether financial (usual reason) or other would be resolved within three weeks and for this reason it is considered that those in need would be limited to 3 vouchers.
This is no longer the reality of the situation. People are having their benefits stopped for long periods of time and without the right of appeal and in cases for an apparent trivial reason. The person deciding to stop the issue of benefit, doesn’t meet the beneficiary and relies on reports or statistical information from another person. /sections of the community albeit classed as working are on zero hours contracts and have no guarantee of work or income for a given period. Similar people in low paid employment can find themselves in difficulties when a large bill is received or a domestic appliance requires repair.
Food stocks are made by way of donations. We are very fortunate in having good all-round support from all sections of the community. Schools provide huge donations from specific collections e.g. Harvest Festival as do local church communities and groups. Likewise employees in businesses organise Christmas collections as an alternative to buying colleagues Christmas cards. We also collect twice a year at Tesco’s Supermarket in Stretford Mall. These collections average about 1,500 kilos. This would be sufficient for about 3600 meals.