Please donate food now

There are people locally who are going hungry.  Smethwick CAN is doing fantastic work supplying food parcels but they need more food and more volunteers as there has been a recent spike in demand. You can find out how to donate food or your time right here, just read on.

Wondering who Smethwick CAN are? – in 2015 they distributed over 2,200 emergency food supply parcels and provided over 55,000 meals – 21,000 of those were for children.

Smethwick Foodbank

But they cannot do it alone.  Smethwick CAN and its 42 vounteers that run the Smethwick Foodbank, need more food to keep local people from going hungry.  Last year local people donated over 46 tonnes of food, and we need to keep that up.  Can you help? Below is a list of the foods that are most needed, and then we tell you a bit about how Smethwick Foodbank started and how it’s run.

Could you add a few of these into your weekly shop?

If so, please take your food donations to: Mad As A Hatter on Abbey Road, Thimblemill Library, Global Foods or Abbey Infant and Junior Schools. Alternatively you can deliver directly to the Smethwick Foodbank, which is open Tuesdays and Fridays between 1.30 – 4pm at Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick, B67 7AH or contact Christina Murray at foodaction@smethwickcan.org.

  • Milk (UHT or powdered)
  • Sugar (500g)
  • Long-life fruit juice
  • Soup
  • Pasta sauces
  • Tinned sponge pudding
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Cereals
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Tea bags/instant coffee
  • Instant mashed potato
  • Rice/pasta
  • Tinned meat/fish
  • Jam
  • Biscuits or snack bars

Here’s some info for you on how the Foodbank was set up, how it’s run now and how people can make use of its services. Make sure you get in touch with them if you’d like to volunteer!

Smethwick Foodbank has been set up by local churches across Smethwick and is managed by Smethwick Church Action Network (Smethwick CAN) and supported by the Trussell Trust.

When local churches in Smethwick first got together back in January 2012 we perhaps naively hoped that our provision of emergency food parcels would not last for too long.

Here we are though, over four years later, seeing increases in demand year on year. Foodbanks are sadly more vital than ever and we are so grateful to the people of Smethwick and beyond for their generosity and hope that we can continue to offer the best possible service for local people facing a crisis.

The latest statistics published by Trussell Trust foodbank network show that UK-wide foodbank figures for the 2015-16 financial year remain at record levels and the national need for foodbanks is still not decreasing.

2,296 emergency food parcels distributed last year

In 2015…

  • Parcels distributed: 2,296 three-day emergency food supplies
  • Total meals provided: 55,341 meals (including 21,807 meals for children)
  • Top reasons for referral: low income 43% and benefit delays 23%
  • Food donated: 46,218 tonnes
  • Volunteers: 42 people

How it works

Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice, schools, hostels and police identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.

Foodbank clients then bring their voucher to the foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over refreshments and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.

Opening times

Holy Trinity Church is the main Smethwick Foodbank distribution point and is open Tuesdays and Fridays between 1.30pm – 4pm.

We have recently set up a second distribution point at Raglan Road Christian Church, which is open every Wednesday between 12pm – 1.30pm

Fuel Bank
Many people who come to the foodbank don’t actually have money to pay for gas or electricity, meaning they’re unable to cook nor heat their homes.

Npower have recognised this and now, when someone comes to Smethwick Foodbank with a foodbank voucher from one of our referral agencies and they are eligible, they will receive a top up for their pre-payment meter. Help is available whether they’re an Npower customer or use another energy supplier.

We’re committed to helping people get out of their crisis situation, so we’ll be letting them know of other national and local energy schemes that could potentially help people in the longer term whilst receiving crisis support.

Volunteers

We are truly grateful to our team of volunteers who help out with the foodbank on a weekly basis. We are in real need of new volunteers or people who can cover for illness or holidays on an ad hoc basis, also drivers who would be willing to collect donations.

For more information or to find out more about volunteering, please contact Christina Murray on 0121 517 0141 or foodaction@smethwickcan.org.

For Smethwick Foodbank updates, please visit our website www.smethwick.foodbank.org.uk, the Smethwick Foodbank Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @SmethwickFoodBa.

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