AGM – LOAVES AND FISHES FOODBANK – JUNE 2016 – ANNUAL REPORT
We continue to support up to forty families every week. As before, each family is recommended to us by a ‘bona fide’ agency. Donations of food are given regularly by twenty-seven local churches, some schools and many individuals.
One of the biggest changes this year has been the construction of a purpose built foodstore in one corner of St John’s Church Hall. This has been made possible by a generous grant from the Spring House Trust and the goodwill of St John’s Church PCC. In practice this means that all donations can now be stored within the two foodstores, the new stockroom strength shelving and fittings means that food is properly stored and volunteers have a safer and more efficient working environment.
Money donated to us is deposited in a trustee account and used mainly to buy extra items such as fresh fruit or to top up supplies of certain items if stocks are low. As our financial position is currently very healthy the trustees have agreed not to accept further monetary donations for the foreseeable future.
Two of the founding trustees, Francein Strydom and Carole Bonner, will be stepping down at this year’s AGM. Francein will be moving on and Carole will continue as a volunteer. As chair of trustees I would like to pay tribute to Francein’s vision and altruism which was the inspiration for the setting up of the foodbank five years ago. Nicky Harvey and Andrea Watson, who are already experienced volunteers, will be the new managing trustees. Fr Robin Jones will continue as a trustee.
Information about the foodbank can be found by following the link on the St John’s Church website: www.stjtb.com
Our families remain the priority and we try to provide them with a friendly and welcoming environment when they come to collect their food. Special thanks are due to the continuing support of our donors, without whose generosity none of the above would be possible, and to the volunteers who give willingly of their time to make sure that the foodbank operates week by week throughout the year.
AGM – LOAVES AND FISHES FOODBANK – 25 JUNE 2015 – ANNUAL REPORT
‘FOOD IN AND FOOD OUT’
This year new families have been recommended to us by Social Services, Spring House, West Kent Housing, Citizens Advice Bureau, Church Leaders, Headteachers and family support officers and other agencies. Loaves and Fishes continues to support up to 40 families each week and, as in previous years, we have helped a number of other people with shorter term emergency bags of food. We have been able to give some families extras such as nappies and baby items and all of them have received fresh fruit. A family with young children living in bed and breakfast accommodation with no cooking facilities is being provided with food suitable for their circumstances. Some families only require help for a short time while others are with us for the long term. The positive news is that since the last report a number of our families are now no longer in need of the foodbank.
All of the above is possible because of the continuing generous donations of good quality food from 28 local churches of all denominations, several schools and charitable organisations plus many individuals some of whom choose to be anonymous. A number of groups and individuals have also given money. THANK YOU.
As indicated last year donations of food exceed the allocated storage space in St John’s Church Hall and food overflows into other areas. I am very pleased to report that the outgoing Spring House Trust has given a grant of £3,500 to Loaves and Fishes foodbank to be used for extending and improving the storage facilities. St John’s Church PCC has generously agreed to allow the building of a second foodstore in the corner of the church hall and work on this will be completed in August this year. This will not only increase the storage capacity but will create a safer, more efficient and user friendly space for our volunteers to operate in.
This year we were invited to talk about Loaves and Fishes to the newly founded Westerham Community foodbank, St George’s Church Weald, The Drive Methodist Church, Bessels Green Baptist Church and to school assemblies at St John’s Primary School, Sevenoaks Primary School , Walthamstow Hall Senior School and Trinity School.
A very big thank you is also due to our volunteers both new and long standing who freely give their time and energy to support our families.