North Bristol Foodbank opened in mid-July to provide emergency food to local men, women and children struggling to put food on the table due to the current economic climate. North Bristol Foodbank is the third foodbank to open in Bristol in the last two years to help meet the demand as more people find themselves on the breadline.
North Bristol Foodbank is one of the latest foodbanks to be launched in partnership with national foodbank charity The Trussell Trust, which is opening three new foodbanks every week to meet the growing need nationwide. Rising food and fuel prices combined with static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits means that the need for foodbanks is greater than ever.
North Bristol Foodbank will provide three days’ worth of non-perishable emergency food to people who have hit crisis for reasons ranging from redundancy to benefit delay or bereavement. Every person who comes to the Foodbank will be referred by a frontline care professional such as a social worker or schools liaison officer using a voucher system. All the food is donated by the public.
Joint foodbank manager Stewart North says: “It is shocking that people are going hungry in their own homes in North Bristol and we’re determined to do our best to stop parents skipping meals to feed their children, or people having to decide between eating and paying the rent, which is why we’ve launched North Bristol Foodbank. We really need the local community to support us by donating food or giving their time to help us feed local people in crisis.”
Since the initial meetings in late 2011, Ebenezer Church in Horfield and Filton Community Church (who run the Revive Charity Shop in Filton) have been involved with the project, with a shared vision to meet the needs of the area’s most vulnerable. Joint Foodbank manager, Tony Matthews says: “Already on our journey in setting up this Foodbank, it has been wonderful to see incredible support from the communities of Horfield, Lockleaze and Filton which this Foodbank will be initially serving. Many schools, community organisations and businesses are partnering with us to provide food collection points. Support workers, health visitors and other professional care agencies are registering so they can provide food vouchers to those in crisis. This is about a whole community getting involved.”
The two other foodbanks in Bristol (East Bristol Foodbank and Bristol NW Foodbank) have been very supportive of this new Foodbank being set up to serve this part of the city. Bristol NW Foodbank currently is providing food to between 150-200 people per month. Local agencies in North Bristol who are supporting individuals and families in Horfield, Lockleaze, Filton and into Patchway, are saying that demand will be high in this part of the city.