Local Food Bank rise to the crisis. God in action.

The Foodbank within Resound Church on Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield has issued a statement on their situation during COVID and we are delighted to be able to share it's amazing, inspirational stories at a time of real crisis for so many families. Bless all of them who work for the good of community.
* To drop off food items at the Resound Church, they are open on a FRIDAY from 10-12noon. or to donate £, go to the North Bristol Food Bank website. Use the same website if you require information on how to get help from the Foodbank.*
Resound foodbank – some lockdown thoughts (June 2020). We would not be alone in saying the suddenness and seriousness of the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdown have presented many challenges. At the foodbank in Mangotsfield we were just finding our feet after a particularly busy Christmas period and many people were looking forward to a quieter period. Then in March, of course, everything changed. Various phases greeted us. First, it was realising that around 40 – 50% of our regular volunteers, who are in the over 70 age group, were now unable to assist. Thankfully, we got lots of offers of help, some people we already knew and others we didn’t. We are now building our volunteer team (aptly named Horizon) for the next phase which runs until the end of 2020. Then it was the rising panic of customers requesting foodbank vouchers, so we found our foodbank demand more than doubled during the first week of lockdown. There was of course the issue of general food shortages which impacted us. We rely almost exclusively on the donations of the general public, many older, so when the national message is Stay Home and get your food delivered (impossible I know!) our food donations were likely to be hugely reduced. Amazingly whilst we did see a dip it very soon it started to rise again. We next needed to respond to becoming a delivery only service, dropping food to customers, so we recruited some brilliants car drivers who have been cheerfully and reliably making the weekly deliveries. And just so you know, recipients are very grateful. We talk to most customers before their delivery each week to let them know when we are bringing food and to see how they are doing. They are so grateful. A week does not go by without one or two calling us back later in the day to say thank you. They are usually in tears at the generous, well chosen food they have received. It is such a privilege to help. Things are a little quieter now. We are feeding probably only slightly more now than we would usually be doing for this time of year. However, we can’t be complacent as we know the impact of the past few months will inevitably be far reaching. Job security and mental health will be affected for a long while to come; both factors which often lead to the need of the services of a foodbank. *see below for stats ****************
We would like to thank and celebrate some of those who have made running our foodbank for the past three months easier and often a joy. In no particular order but appreciated with all our hearts……
• Every person in the local area who risked coming to us with food donations and thought of others’ greater needs when they were doing their lock-down shop. • For the community groups who club together and bring bags and bags of shopping – after carefully perusing our shopping list. • For the couple who brought in a delicious and beautifully wrapped homemade malt loaf for the team. It was LUSH and we felt so valued. • For the local shop owners who brought us their stock when they had to close their door: Jasons Trading Post, TK Maxx and Homesense (for the most random but exciting mix of food stuff we would have only ever bought in our maddest retail moments – but we know some people must have felt it was such a treat to get outsized marshmallows and crazy biscuits), various pubs (we have enjoyed the Nobby’s Nuts), the guy from Cardiff who dropped us boxes of fresh fruit and veg and for the people who brought packs of frozen sausages and burgers before we went over to home delivery. Our thoughts are with you and for better times for you and your businesses. • For Warburtons who have always been amazing and even more so recently with your generosity and lovely bread. • For Sainsburys who put out extra drop bins for donations and managed it so well. • All the local churches who keep on giving to us – Yes, the doors might be shut but the church is definitely open! • A special thanks for the person who unfailingly drops off two cans of beer every single week. One very special volunteer always goes above and beyond the call of duty and has been blessed by this kindness!! (Even if there is no football to watch while he is drinking them – you can’t have everything in a pandemic.) • For at least two people who made the most beautiful and amazing cotton face masks and dropped them in the Sainsburys foodbank bin. All our team now have face coverings. Thank you; thank you. • Thanks to the Avon and Somerset Police Federation who brought us 164 Green and Blacks Easter eggs. These were donated via Cadburys and Gems at Work. • Thanks to the many people who sent us cheques and cash towards the foodbank. We promise every penny will be used to benefit people in the local area. • We are very grateful to all our volunteers – most of them have come in every Friday for months to help out. We are missing our quarantined volunteers and send them all our love. We hope to see them all very soon. • We are also so grateful to the amazing provision of our Father God. Foodbank is linked with Resound church and many of the volunteers have a deep Christian faith. We have seen so many times how God has provided for us from perfect timing of wonderful new volunteers, to everything we could possibly need on a weekly basis. Thank you God! That briefly sums up our CoVID-19 experience so far. Thanks to everyone for your support, love and human kindness. Sending you all our heartfelt best wishes for the coming months. Claire Collins and Steve Riches.
* Stats: Between 20/3/2020 – 29/5/2020 we saw foodbank usage increase by 230%. We fed 526 people (275 adults and 251 children) - the equivalent of minimum 4734 meals. We received 5460kg of donations. This is compared to 204 people fed in the same period in 2019 and 1658kg of donations. Apart, yet together. #ChurchAtHome

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