Our continuing adventures of running a Food & Toiletries Bank during a pandemic
Part 2 of our Continuing Adventures of Running a Food & Toiletries Bank during a pandemic. Weeks 5-8.
We recently sent you an email of our experience of the first four weeks of the pandemic up to Easter weekend.
Now we send you details of the second period of four weeks
Can you help? Yeswe need donations whether non-perishable food or money to help sustain the work we are doing. Details at the end of this newsletter.
WEEK Five beginning 13th April
We had now settled into a rhythm of extra deliveries from Tesco via FareShare and also received some terrific individual donations. We had our new flow through system for people so that you no longer entered and exited through the same door.
Easter Monday, a Bank holiday, had 10 people queuing outside by 9:30am.
On Thursday we had 16 queuing by 9:30am Smaller local retailers helped with donations:
Black Oliver Pizzeria offered 20 pizza meals tokens for us to give out, and The Baker Shop on Springwell Lane donated bread 162 people were helped in our fifth week, this was double week one and almost 6 times our operation in "normal" times.
WEEK Six beginning 20th April
Continuing demand put extra pressure on our supplies. We were lucky to become part of the FoodAware CIC working our of Hellaby and they been a great help in improving our sustainability.
People were also asking for microwaves, toasters and slow cookers. This allows a small budget to go further by being cook with lower priced ingredients. A great response to a facebook appeal meant we could help lots of people with these items.
People also started ask for TVs and we managed to source a few TVs on facebook that greatly helped people with mental health issues.
This is the vicar taking some trays back to Tesco
WEEK Seven beginning 27th April
Our sustainability was greatly enhanced by donations from M&S via an organisation called Neighbourly. Here is Jane on our first collection from them. We also now have collections from two Tesco Express shops on Barnsley Road and Wentworth Road on two mornings a week.
Over several weeks we saw people raise money to buy food and then donate to us. So thankful. It really makes a difference.
WEEK Eight beginning 4th May
Week by week our sustainability improves and we now don't have all the food on display but have a buffer stock behind the screens.
We have also started to allow a couple more volunteers to help at the Food Bank itself and several others are picking up collections from Tesco and M&S.
A grant from Doncaster council has been used to buy:
1) a new trolley to transport food donations in from the carpark;
2) three signs to emphasis the need for social distancing and
3) a full clear screen shown in the photo below to make it easier to talk to people closely but safely.
This a graph you will not see on any government briefing but shows the number of households we have helped each day we have been open. Some come once, some are regulars. What is apparent is that many are better for the regular supply of quality food and social (even if at a distance) contact. The challenge ahead is to maintain what we are now doing and gradually merge back in the groups we were running.
Where can we bring donations?
To St John the Evangelist, on the corner of Balby Road and Greenfield Lane, Balby DN4 0PT
Mondays, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 8:30 and 11:30
Can we donate money? Yes Please!
We have some envelopes or even a standing order form if you would like to give regularly. You can give electronically in a number of ways shown in the next panel