Our continuing adventures of running a Food & Toiletries Bank during a pandemic as continue to help 200 households a week
Part 5 of our Continuing Adventures of Running a Food & Toiletries Bank during a pandemic. Weeks 18-21
The idea of "MultiBank" became fully developed and this month we describe this in more detail. So we have a less week by week of what happened and more general of how we operate.
Can you help? Yeswe need donations whether non-perishable food or money to help sustain the work we are doing. We need donations of money as this helps cover our core running costs. This helps us get grants as it shows we have support of individuals. We are also looking for more volunteers particularly if you have transport and feel fit enough to pick up food collections from supermarkets. Some of these may not be until 8:30pm and then need to to be taken to church, so it can be a late finish. We are now fully open for donations including women clothing. See the graphic below for full donation details.
The last four weeks has seen more daily variation in numbers attending and people are now in less of a panic that they will not get food. So instead of a massive que when we open, people arrive through the morning confident that they will be able to get what they need. We have now had 44 questionnaires completed, they tell us that, of those who come to us:
64% are men
86.5 are white Caucasian
82% live in Balby
48% attended before the pandemic
The median time in their current property is 6 months
They attend on average 3 times a week.
36% feel better now than at the start of the pandemic mainly due to the help they have received
14.5% are from the BAME community
40/44 said the food we give out had been vital for them
33/44 said the toiletries we give out had been vital for them
27/44 said being able to come to the food bank had been vital to their mental well being.
WEEK Eighteen beginning 13th July
We had "MultiBank" fully open this week and we show you the journey though the different sections
We have barriers and signs outside to assist with social distancing and then everyone is reminded to wear a mask and gel their hands as they enter. We have masks donated by Refurbish to give to people if they haven't got one. We educate people as to why its important to adhere to the rules. There is a clothes area for people to look through clothes and then a help area where people can ask for specific items or toiletries as they wait to go into the food back area. Over time the que outside and inside give us an opportunity to talk to people and find out their more specific needs and problems.
One you get the food bank area you flow through the small household items area and then exit through he back door. The pictures show the food laid out on the tables with volunteers behind to supervise and help aid fare selection.
Volunteers are also able to help with the bedding and towels which are on the racks behind.
After the food we have the small household items area. Cutlery, plates, mugs cups bowls are always needed. We also keep trousers in this area as they are in great demand and we need to stop them being jumbled up.
Once through the different areas you exit through the back door. Donation arrives through this door also, so we have a two way system one for in one for out at the door. Table for donations are to right hand side as you enter. This is a sign to remind you to wear a mask, wash you hands and keep your distance.
Clothes Sorting Area
We have a an area designed to keep people distanced while sorting clothes. We can have three people sorting and then someone helping people in the que. There is a seating area for staff in front of the third sorting table. We have lockers for volunteers belongings and a clothes rack for their coats.
WEEK Twenty One beginning 3rd August
We received a van full of donations from a the DN4 food group which had been set up for a three month period to help with massive need. As many of the group were returning to work, they donated the excess food to us. Thank you.
Forward planning continues and we were donated some screens so we have set up the cafe area ready. We are currently thinking how we might open this for drinks and some crafts or games and jigsaws.
We will need more volunteers to do this and also some more easing of restrictions.
Many many thanks for everyones help and support it is not possible without you.
If you would like to help by volunteering particular if you have transport and feel fit enough to pick up food collections from supermarkets. Some of these may not be until 8:30pm and then need to to be taken to church, so it can be a late finish.
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 10 and 12
Can we donate money? Yes Please!
Parish Giving Scheme (PGS)
Donations can be made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis by Direct Debit using a PGS gift form. Even though the donations are made to the PGS, donations are restricted to our community work and cannot be used elsewhere.
The donation will be passed back to us by 10th of the month. Gift Aid will be sent separately once PGS has received it from HMRC.
You can set this all up by calling the dedicated telephone number:0333 002 1271
Lines are open Monday to Friday, between 9 – 5pm.
You will need to have your bank account details,
church/parish name: BLW Youth & Community Fund
and PGS parish code to hand: 35A635187