SPECIAL APPEAL: Lewes Food Banks need your help
This newsletter is all about climate action. But no-one can think about the climate crisis when they’re worried sick about feeding themselves or their family. Lewes foodbanks are reporting sharply rising costs and many more users – here’s how you could help.
Debbie Twitchen MBE, coordinator of Landport Foodbank, got in touch with organisations across Lewes to warn that both the number of users and the costs involving in providing the foodbank have risen sharply.
She comments: “A lot of our clients are working people now, and we have noticed that the number of working women with children on our books has risen dramatically Everyone that comes to the foodbank has to be referred by a professional outside organisation such as Citizens Advice, housing officer, medical professional, councillor etc.
As of 5th June, we are looking after 50 Families, 37 Singles/Couples 87 Households, 132 Adults and 114 children. This adds up to 246 People. To put this in perspective, this time last year we were helping 35 families, 27 singles/couples, 62 Households, 83 adults and 87 Children. This adds up to 170 people.” Fitzjohns and Malling foodbanks both report similar rises.
A tripling in costs
Debbie adds: “I have real concerns about the amount of money we have coming in from generous individuals that donate to us every month, and the amount going out…. We are members of the Fareshare scheme, and pay an annual fee – this year it is £1,200 odd, which used to represent very good value in terms of the food they brought. However, in the last six months the quality and content that we get is not so good. They too are feeling the pressure of rising costs and demand for their service has soared.
In one week this June, Debbie reports that costs (comprising mainly food and volunteer petrol costs) were £1,395.35. The same time a year ago, they were £418.87 – which means costs have more than tripled. But, says, Debbie, donations of food from the bins at the front of supermarkets and from Churches are down as people tighten their belts and look to their own household expenses first because of food inflation.
Can you help?
It’s clear the three food banks in our town (especially ones that receive no church support) urgently need all the help we can give them.
Here’s some of the most useful ways to help:
- Donate weekly to foodbank trolleys at Waitrose, Tesco or Aldi – As well as the food stuffs that banks recommend – think about contributing women’s sanitary products (especially given girls won’t be able to get them free from school during the summer holidays) and bottles of SPF50 sunscreen lotion which is essential for many people right now but extremely expensive. Collected donations are distributed equally between Lewes foodbanks.
- Donate at the foodbanks – You can also take donations direct to any of the Lewes or Ringmer food banks – usually on Mondays. See details of where to donate here: Lewes Food Banks – how and where to donate | Transition Town Lewes
- Set up a regular financial contribution – A regular and reliable flow of contributions is the lifeblood of any foodbank. To make a regular or one-off financial contribution, email the foodbanks for bank details:
Landport Foodbank – firstname.lastname@example.org
Fitzjohns Foodbank – email@example.com
Malling Foodbank – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ringer Baptist Church Foodbank – email@example.com
- Contribute to Donate a Drink – Cheese Please, Depot Cinema, Harveys Brewery Shop, Seasons and the Patisserie are part of Lewes Pound’s Donate a Drink scheme where customers simply ask to add a ‘Foodbank donation’ of £3 to their bill. Donations are then converted into envelopes of Lewes pounds, which Foodbank clients can spend in any local business that accepts Lewes pounds – whether they fancy a coffee, to buy a book or watch a film! You can also donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lewespoundsforfoodbankclients.
What to donate at foodbanks
- tinned fruit, custard, rice pudding
- tinned meat (hotdogs, stews, meatballs)
- tinned tomatoes
- coffee, tea and UHT milk
- cereals (foodbanks get a lot of cornflakes, other varieties are also very welcome)
- packet noodles, rice etc (easy to make, low cost cooking, good for those with few facilities)
- pasta sauces
- rice and pasta
- toiletries and sanitary items