What started as a short term need in the local Northeast England community, ended up lasting 8 years and still going. The Bay Foodbank has been providing food to those that find themselves in a financial crisis, ever since 2012.
Running any other company for such a long time and growing massively from a small upstairs flat to a spacious warehouse is considered great, however in this case, the growth of The Bay Foodbank proves only one thing – there is still massive demand for food parcels in local communities and food poverty is still a massive issue.
I really wish that there were no foodbanks, but the reality is there is a huge demand out there.Alan Dickinson, Chairman at The Bay Foodbank
According to statistics from Trussell Trust, 1.9 million emergency food parcels were delivered by food banks in the whole of England and more than 700,000 of these went to children. In addition to that, there has been an 18% increase of food parcel distribution in England comparing to last years figures. Meaning, that the problem is still very much present urging food banks to call for governments at all levels to use their powers to lower the number as much as possible.
’This constant rise in food bank use, year after year, cannot continue. More and more people are struggling to eat because they simply cannot afford food – and when we look to the year ahead, it’s likely even more people will be forced into destitution. This is not right.Emma Revie, Chief Executive at Trussell Trust
To help with the very present issue, The Bay Foodbank has been delivering, as they say, love in a box – parcels of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, butter, eggs, cheese etc., to families experiencing financial hardship, bereavement, benefit delay, redundancy and unexpected bill or illness. They have been doing it successfully over the years and they have achievements to prove it.
Some honorable mentions include that as of September 2020, they have provided over 32,000 food parcels to over 70,000 individuals in the North East community. Moreover, The Bay Foodbank has been awarded ‘Whitley Bay Town Cup’ in 2014. Sainsbury’s has awarded them as charity of the year in 2015/2016 and in the next year they have been awarded the ‘Golden Fleece Award’ by Cedarwood Trust.
Just like all the other food banks, The Bay Foodbank has been extremely busy during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a way, the pandemic is what forced them to expand their premises as there is a huge demand for food parcels and the bigger premises make it more accessible for people to come and collect the parcels themselves. However, even in these busy times The Bay Foodbank still works around the clock to deliver food directly to families who may not have the possibility to pick it up themselves.
As the numbers and statistics suggest, there are lots of people needing charities like The Bay Foodbank as they have been made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning Covid-19 has affected lots of peoples’ livelihoods, however not only that, but Covid-19 has also affected the charities themselves, as they are having to deal with less staff and volunteers. That is exactly what me and Maggie Walker, a volunteer and a Trustee ever since 2018 at The Bay Foodbank, sat to talk about.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic happened, The Bay Foodbank has lost half of their volunteers, therefore consider joining their friendly team by watching the video below, which will give an insight into what it is like to volunteer there.
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*Photo credits belong to The Bay Foodbank