It’s Wednesday lunchtime and Greatfield residents are out enjoying the sunshine,
but in small office at Bonny Downs church hall, Angie Allgood, Team Leader of the Bonny Downs Community Association, is already dealing with a variety of housing issues.
The Bonny Downs Food Bank has been running since 2013 on Wednesdays from
12-2pm, as one of five food banks operating in the borough. Residents referred
from a variety of sources including schools, faith groups and health professionals
bring vouchers to be cashed in for a crisis contribution of 3 days worth of 3
meals of food. Owing to the tight rules around food handling, although the goods
provided supply a nutritional balance across all the key food groups, there are no
perishable items and most of the goods come in packets and tins.
Having noticed that not all of those in need could get referrals, the food bank also has an active café that offers a hot meal delivered by a pair of local residents supported by local donations . As the hall is also part of the borough’s night shelter scheme it has also become a hub for the homeless and those with other difficulties, acting as a point of liaison hooking residents up with other sources of support.
When the food bank opened around 5 vouchers a week were being cashed in. A year ago, this figure suddenly quadrupled and working families were being referred along with the unemployed. As Angie explains many of these people are care workers and cleaners employed on zero hours contracts through chains of agencies but with no guarantees of work.
Although the food bank currently has a solid team of volunteers, they are always on the look out for people with specific support skills who can help with legal or housing advice. They also really appreciate donations of toiletries or staple foods including tinned meat, tinned soups, coffee and sugar.
For more information check out the following link.