Chair Person’s Message
With 2017 now well underway I believe that the Foodbank is making meaningful strides in embedding itself within the local community.
On 7th February we had a visit from Swanley Mayor, Laurence Ball and I know that both the mayor and the Foodbank found this to be a very productive visit in terms of helping to cement our place in the voluntary sector within Swanley and the surrounding district. On behalf of the Foodbank I would like to pay a special thanks to both the Mayor and Chrissy Hudson for her tireless efforts in making this event possible.
Despite these very adversarial political times, the above visit shows that national political differences can be transcended at the local level if we all make the effort. So in this vein I would also like to thank David Carr for his efforts to secure voluntary funding for the Foodbank by members of the Co-Op. We should know round about May if the Co-Op has approved his application but I am optimistic on this score. So Conservative and Labour joined together in a common cause. Great news!
It is worth mentioning again the vital role that the various churches in Swanley play in not only furthering the aims of the Foodbank but also in driving social change locally for the better.
For those of you who like statistics: Since April 2016
268 vouchers have been issued, feeding 417 adults and 275 children, a total of 692
We have received the following donations:
Public Donations 3637.7 kg
Tesco store, Sidcup 3404.4 kg
Waitrose store, Sevenoaks 2747.9 kg
Asda Store, Swanley 1291 kg
This makes a total of 11081 kg just over 11 tones !!! of food, toiletries, and household goods.
We would like to thank everyone who has so generously donated to the food bank during this past year. Without your help we would not be able to help so many people in our local community.
We have also received since our last newsletter financial gifts totaling £2308.00
Please consider if you could make a small regular financial donation to help the work of the Swanley and District Food bank, standing order forms and gift aid forms are available on request.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports the Swanley and District Foodbank. The overwhelming generosity of local people is amazing.
We held our annual three-day collection at the Tesco store in Sidcup at the beginning of December and volunteers were at the store between 9am and 5pm each day handing out lists for people to buy items for the Foodbank and thanking them as they did so. Over the three days we collected 1593.2 kg of food, toiletries and household goods, and £243 in cash!
In the run-up to Christmas we also received many donations from individuals who took part in a Reverse Advent Calendar Scheme, whereby they placed an item for the Foodbank in a box every day during December, these boxes were gratefully received by many in the local community.
The beginning of February saw the annual training of all Swanley Foodbank volunteers and a record number of 28 people attended, without the commitment of these people the Foodbank could not function, so thank you to all those who give up their time regularly to serve the community in this way.
Mayor of Swanley, Councilor Laurence Ball, visited the Foodbank on 7th February, meeting with the Manager Wendy Halford and other volunteers. Hearing about the work that we do, Cllr Ball was saddened to hear of the very real need for the Foodbank in the community.
Cllr Ball and Wendy had a long conversation about the Foodbank. The Mayor had clearly put a lot of thought into his visit, with pertinent questions about how people receive vouchers, how the system works, what type of situations lead to people needing our help.
Cllr Ball then had a tour of our premises, showing him the items that we can issue people. Links with other communities and organistions were explained to the Mayor, which demonstrated to him how we try to work with those within our community and local area.
The Mayor was heartened to hear about our plans to hold ‘Trussell Trust Eat Well’ courses in conjunction with Reverend Ben Cooper at Elm Church, where people can sign up to a six-week course to learn how to cook basic food and live on a budget. Hearing about how we try to help people to address the reason why they need our help, and seeing how we put that in place through signposting was reassuring and enlightening to the Mayor.
We would like to thank the mayor for giving up his time to come and meet the volunteers of the Foodbank.
Regular donations are very important to the Foodbank. We are very grateful to Stanhill Farm, Birchwood Road, Wilmington, who donate boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables every week and the donations we collect weekly from the drop-off points at both Asda in Swanley and Waitrose in Sevenoaks. We also receive weekly donations from many local churches as well as individuals who bring them to the Foodbank premises.
In addition to the items which can be found on the ‘Foodbank List’ we also rely on generous financial donations which enable us to continue our work in the community. If you would like to set up a standing order or give a one-off donation, please contact the Foodbank on 07798 872573, or visit the Foodbank at Lynden Way, Swanley.
Tesco Store Collection
Trussell Trust Foodbanks work in partnership with Tesco and twice a year volunteers from the Foodbank are allowed to stand and collect food at a local store, which we do at Sidcup. We held a three day collection in July 2016 and collected 1811.2 kg of food, toiletries and household goods. Tesco then give us a cash amount per kg collected and this came to £517.28 we also had collection buckets which raised £153.30. We then held a collection for three days in December 2016 where we collected 1593.2 kg and £242.99 from the buckets.
We are delighted at the new partnership with FAHIM’s – the popular Indian restaurant in Swanley’s High Street. The proprietors Abdul Alim and Mohammed Afsar Miah have very generously sponsored our new Foodbank uniform. The green fleeces are popular with our volunteers and are warm and comfortable.
They were both very glad that their donation would benefit and encourage the many kind volunteers who give up their time week by week to help those in need in our community.
We will also receive a financial contribution from Tesco later this year.
As you can see this collection makes a huge difference to the Foodbank both financially and in stock and we are very grateful to all those who help in this way. We are holding a one day collection in July 2017 and if this is something you feel you are able to help us with please contact the Foodbank via email or phone or call in to 11 Lynden Way Tuesdays or Fridays when we are open.
Abdul and Mohammed visited the Foodbank on Tuesday 14th March to hand over the cash and try on the uniform for themselves and to see the good work being done at Lynden Way.
FAHIM’S opened in Swanley in October 2012 and right from the outset have been actively supporting local groups and charities in the town. They regularly hold Charity Nights at the Restaurant – the next one is on Wednesday 26th April in aid of the Ellenor Foundation.
We are hoping to hold a Charity Night there for the Foodbank in the Autumn.
You can also find out more about us at:
Our website: www.swanleydistrict.foodbank.org.uk or
Our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/swanleyfoodbank