Emergency Food Bank

 

Ashfield Voluntary Action runs an Emergency Food Bank providing food parcels for people in Nottinghamshire until they can access the food bank in their area.

 

There are a number of foodbanks operating in Ashfield. As they tend to be run by a small team of community-minded volunteers, most are only open one day a week, usually for a couple of hours. Some will only accept referrals from the voluntary sector or statutory agencies and some are restricted to operating in specific geographical areas. Ashfield Voluntary Action realised that although these local foodbanks were providing a fantastic service, there were some significant gaps in provision.

 

We started to provide an emergency back-up service to act initially as a safety net. People were approaching us as, for example, the foodbank covering their area was not open until Tuesday and it was Friday and they had no food and didn’t know what to do.

 

       

Yvonne Hudson with her kind donation to the food bank.

 

Yvonne made her donation part of her regular shopping - remember, every little bit helps!

    A big thank you to Norma Poole from Kirkby who donated a basket of fruit and vegetables she won as a raffle prize at the Options Cafe. With Norma's agreement we have passed it on to the local Soup Kitchen and it will be used for packed lunches for local homeless people - thank you Norma.    

 

 

Danielle Roden and her family are regular supporters of our Emergency foodbank and are a vital part of supporting our local community, without the generosity of people like Danielle and her family, we couldn't do what we do.

 

 

In our experience, people are very reluctant to access foodbanks and will do so only once they have reached a point of absolute desperation. Whilst we make every effort to provide the service with the utmost sensitivity, we know that people do find it difficult to take that step. We didn’t want people to be in the position that they finally make an approach only to find that they are not eligible to access the foodbank.

 

 

People may be ineligible or unable to access a foodbank for a variety of reasons; they may be out of area, the service may not open again for several days, or they do not fulfill the referral criteria for some reason. This is particularly important as people will often only take the step to approach a foodbank when they have totally run out of food.

 

As we are primarily a signposting organisation, we began by compiling a database of foodbanks in the area with operating conditions so that we could effectively signpost people to services. However, some of the people approaching us were not able to access immediate support and we realised that we had to bridge the gap. For a number of years we have provided a service which continues to signpost people to the relevant foodbank, but if they are not able to access this service immediately for whatever reason, then we provide an emergency food parcel to tide them over until they can access the foodbank in their area. As we run a variety of projects through the Charity, we have a daily presence in the community which means that we are well-positioned to provide an emergency service on an ad hoc basis.

 

Food parcels are distributed usually by referral but we will accept self-referrals with proof of hardship (letter confirming benefit delays, for example). Please find our referral form below. Please note, that this is intended as a one-off service only. Food parcels can also be collected (by arrangement with Sarah Taylor from AVA) from Mansfield CVS.

 

 

 

AVA Food Bank Referral Form

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in supporting our Emergency Foodbank, we are always looking for donations. Please see the link below for information on the kinds of goods we need. As we are the run-up to Christmas, you could do a 'reverse advent calendar' where you place an item of food in a box every day and drop it off before or after Christmas. We are always glad of donations of tinned and dried goods and if you want to have a better idea of what we need please click on the link below.

 

 

 

Food Bank - What We Need

 

 

 

 

Vik Landa - a local businessman and one of our most generous and regular supporters of the foodbank.

 

 

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