In June the Swindon Food Collective successfully took over the operations from the former Foodbank and wants it known that they are still offering help to households who cannot afford to eat, or who are worrying about where their next meal will come from.
Last year the Swindon distribution centres fed almost 5,000 people of which 40% were children. During the summer school holidays trends show that this figure can rise to 66% children being fed and almost 100% extra food being distributed.
Today there will be parents wondering how they are going to feed themselves and their children; parents who have yet again skipped breakfast to ensure that their children did not have to, families searching their cupboards for what is left and elderly people who are unable to access food.
Cher Smith, the Swindon Food Collective Manager says “People need to know that we are there for them. There have been rumours that the food bank has closed but this is not true. The organisations name and board of directors are new but not the distribution centres are operating as normal and we welcome referrals from agencies for anyone who is in need. If people need food they must be feel confident to approach our teams at the various distribution centres”. She went on to say “Citizens Advice are able to refer people to us via a phone text system or voucher/letter. Alternatively, if a family has a support worker, a letter of reference will suffice until the new voucher system is in operation, which will hopefully be soon.”
One lady who has used the food collective, we shall call her Donna, said “Making the first step was the hardest. I felt I had let my children down by not being able to provide for them and the food parcels have been a life saver. She went on to say, “For me just to be able to talk to someone about the problems I am facing helped and the support and kindness was amazing.” She urged people to go if they need to – “Don’t suffer in silence”.
The new food collective needs funding to ensure its sustainability and anyone who wishes to donate to help support the running costs of the Swindon Food Collective can go to their Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/swindonfoodcollective or organise a standing order via your their bank. Donations should be made to the Swindon Food Collective, Metro Bank, 1-4 Regent Street, Swindon SN1 1JQ. Sort Code: 23-05-80 Account No. 29125759.
Food donations must be non-perishable, tinned or dried food, which can include items such as tomatoes, fruit, squash, potatoes, vegetables, puddings, meat, coffee, sugar, soup, meals plus toiletries and toilet rolls. These can be deposited in various supermarket drop boxes or at any distribution centre.