ANNUAL REPORT 2018-1019
This year we have seen the number of recipients increase. Many are single people but this is generally only on a short term basis as they are referred by West Kent Housing and only require support while financial issues are being resolved. The domestic abuse refuge is also making many short term referrals. Unfortunately we are having to deal with an increasing number of people turning up wanting help without a referral. We have been supporting them with an emergency bag but have then asked for a referral for continued support. Many people have not then come back. There has been an increase in people contacting us via our email to ask about how to get a referral and this works well.
We have had a good year with regards to donations but with increasing numbers of recipients we have had to draw on our finances to buy food. However, our bank balance is still very healthy. Sevenoaks Women’s Forum has been fantastic with providing cereals, Mothers Day gifts, Christmas gifts, to name just a few items that they have helped with. The Hygiene Bank has also been very supportive.
We are grateful as ever to all the Churches who provide Advent calendars, Christmas oranges, Easter eggs and many more donations. Sevenoaks Lions has continued to help with financial donations to recipients for needed items.
There has been a very constructive conversation with Sue Riddle from Otford WI who want to donate on a regular basis. It has been suggested that maybe they could come up with menu ideas based on our food list.
The Fare Share with Waitrose is working well. Many thanks to everyone who picks up the food and Katie who organises its distribution.
The Food Bank could not function without the support of volunteers and St John’s Church. Thank you.
ANNUAL REPORT 2017 – 2018
This year we have continued to help around 40 families and an increasing number of single people on a short term basis of up to 4 weeks. However, if after 4 weeks the referring agency still thinks their client is in need of help we will continue to support them for as long as help is needed. The referrals are coming from a number of new agencies many of whom have visited to see how we operate so that they can understand our referral process.
Donations continue to come from local churches, schools and individuals. At Christmas we received generous donations from several local businesses, which was something new, as well as the ongoing Christmas bags of toiletries provided by Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers. Sevenoaks Lions supplied a bag of Christmas goodies as usual. St Marys, Kippinton donated Advent calenders and Easter eggs for all the children. The gift of a birthday cake for all the children courtesy of Free Cakes for Kids has continued with great success.
Rindi Bakker coordinated the emergency purchase of a cooker for a client through the kind generosity of Sevenoaks Lions Emergency Fund. This will be something we can advise our clients about in the future.
Merrie Reynolds has been instrumental in setting up Fare Share with Waitrose. This service provides the Food Bank with fresh produce, mainly vegetables and from the bakery, which would otherwise be sent to landfill.
A healthy bank balance has enabled us to supplement baskets with fresh fruit and bread as well as buying tins of meat and vegetables when the food store is low on stock. There is £11497.69 in the bank account and petty cash.
This year we had a group of students from Sevenoaks School who operated on a rota system which worked very well.
The Food Bank could not function with out the support of volunteers and St John’s Church. Thank you to all.
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.