Story and photo by Suman Shreshta
Burngreave Foodbank is helping local people in crisis, as part of a nationwide network of foodbanks; supported by the Trussell Trust.
A simple box of food makes a big difference. Collecting food from various supermarkets, churches and schools, it can help stop not just hunger, but housing loss, family breakdown and mental health issues too.
People turn up with a voucher supplied by various support agencies, including social services, schools and citizens’ advice centres. While a food parcel is being prepared, clients will be offered drinks and can speak with some of the volunteers at the foodbank.
Centre manager, Rachel Snow told us:
“We are not trained advisors. We do not try to solve their problem but we can ‘signpost’ people to other agencies who may be able to offer their support. Our aim is to ensure people leave feeling hopeful that someone cares.”
One asylum-seeking family said:
“We were like a car running without fuel before we knew about the foodbank. We felt re-energized after receiving a food parcel!”
Another client said,
“The beauty of the foodbank is that you feel as though there is always someone there for you and that someone cares about you.”
Since opening in 2012, Burngreave Foodbank has handed out over 7,600 parcels of food. Rachel said.
“We are amazed at the generosity of those who give us these collections. Donors may never be able to see the person you helped or hear their own ‘thank you’ but it is only because of your contribution that they were able to be helped at all.”
Burngreave Foodbank opens three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 2-4pm). Further details can be found on the website at www.burngreave.foodbank.org.uk