Cromer foodbank coping with increased demand
The Cromer and District Foodbank has experienced a substantial increase in demand for food supplies this Spring, with families in particular needing help, and they have adapted their procedures in order to cope. Tony Rothe reports.
The foodbank has experienced a 125% increase in the number of vouchers redeemed in April this compared with last year, but the number of people fed went up to 700, compared with 263 last year, an increase of 166%. This is because there has been a huge increase in the numbers of families requiring help as opposed to single customers.
Tim Morton, project manager of Cromer and District Foodbank, says, “The figure for children fed is remarkable: 323 this year compared to 89 last year, an increase of 263%. This conclusively shows the impact this crisis is having on families, but also the fact that agencies are able to support those in need.
“The impact of this increased demand has been seen in the fact that the warehouse teams have had to adapt their roles. We now have 6 teams a week (one each weekday apart from Tuesday when there are two, morning and afternoon) and they all take on whatever role is needed. It may be packing crates, weighing in, sorting goods for storage, packing crates into bags for delivery or issuing parcels to agents or clients.
“Although we are giving out an increased amount of food, we are receiving more than we need and so, at present, we are increasing our stocks. The regular weekly donations from Tesco head office and Morrisons Cromer are continuing and now that most supermarkets have lifted restrictions on buying, meaning people can buy extra to donate to us, this has resulted in incoming stock being higher than usual. April saw almost 7500kg incoming, which is an increase of just over 85% of the monthly average and I expect May to be similar or more.”
However, there are specific needs for this month, which are listed below. Financial donations are, of course, always welcome.
The Cromer & District foodbank was set up in 2012 to provide emergency, essential food items for people in crisis within North Norfolk. They operate from seven distribution centres within an area totalling 200 square miles – which includes coastal areas, several market towns and extensive rural areas – and with a population of approximately 70,000.
The foodbank is supported by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in the local area, and have a close relationship with Citizen’s Advice. In addition to food, they provide a range of essential toiletries and household items. They also work closely with the Children’s Services and can provide nappies, wipes, formula milk and other essential items for babies and toddlers.
“So, thank you to all who have been supporting Foodbank and please keep praying for those individuals and families who are finding it hard to make ends meet at present” Tim concluded.
Project name: Cromer & District Foodbank
Who runs the project? The team is made up of Trustees, with Pete Wenham as the chair. Tim Morton is the project manager assisted by many invaluable volunteers.
Catchment area: Stalham, North Walsham, Aylsham, Cromer, Sheringham, Holt are the distribution hubs, covering all surrounding areas.
Address: Cromer Methodist Church Hall, Corner of West St and Hall Road, Cromer NR27 9DT
Contact details: 07826 376343 from 9.30am until 3.30pm Monday to Friday.
Is there a list of items you particularly need at present?
During June, the following items would be very welcome: Tinned Potatoes, Tinned Rice Pudding, Custard, Chocolates and Sweets, Deodorant - female and male, Nappies sizes 5 and 6, Shampoo, Washing Up Liquid, Laundry Liquid, Household Cleaning Products. The foodbank cannot accept any fresh food or items that contain alcohol.
What you can offer other projects?
We can consider supporting other projects with food, if needed. We already do work in conjunction with other food banks and other organisations, such as Salvation Army and housing associations.
The safety of clients, of our volunteers and our project manager and trustees.
The people who donate to us - without them we wouldn’t have anything to give out - we are so grateful.
Website : http://cromerdistrict.foodbank.org.uk/
Or follow the foodbank on Facebook and Twitter.
The picture of the Cromer delivery van is courtesy of Anna Morton