Feed a Family: Foodbanks are lifeline for many

Food banks have become a lifeline for so many people when they have had nowhere else to turn during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Well's co-project manager Gary Price
The Well's co-project manager Gary Price

Among the organisations offering emergency food to those who have fallen on hard times is The Well in Wolverhampton

The Christian charity started is work in 2006 and supported 69 people during its first year.

In 2019, around 10,000 people were provided with food and toiletries - a third of these were children - and this figure is expected rise again this year due to the challenges arising from Covid-19.

In just six months, The Well delivered food and toiletry parcels to 2,300 households, supporting 5,500 people.

“We were very busy in March, April and May and because the churches were closed we weren’t getting as much food being donated,” said co-project manager Gary Price.

“The council was very good and helped by donating boxes of food. We would have struggled without them at the start,” he added.

Among those who benefited from extra support from an older man who had no support initially in the crisis.

The charity was able to provide him with fresh and dried food as well as toiletries until other support could be put in place.

He was so grateful that he left a message thanking the food bank on their voicemail.

“I would like to thank you very very much for the food you sent me. I’ve made a lovely stew that will last me a few days. I can’t thank you enough. The gentleman who came down said the food was free. I’m so thankful to sit down and have a cup of tea, even a bit of toast. Thank you again,” was the message.

Once restrictions started to ease, more donations of food started flooding in and many kind-hearted people in the community organised fundraising activities.

Strain

This included 12-year-old Brooke Gamble , who had all 14 inches of her hair shaved off in aid of the food bank.

“People have been very supportive and we’ve also noticed smaller food projects starting up across the city which has helped to take the strain when it’s been busy,” said Mr Price.

The Express & Star is running our Feed A Family This Christmas campaign to support food banks and charities in the Black Country and Staffordshire working to support families and individuals struggling to put meals on the table.

This year we are asking people to donate non perishable food and toiletries to the food banks and organisations directly by using their established collection points, which are listed on this page.

This will ensure the donations reach their dedicated teams quickly and safely so they can be passed on to the people who need them.

The Well is particularly appealing for donations of Christmas food to bring a bit of festive cheer to homes as well as store cupboard essentials.

“We like to give out Christmas food like Christmas puddings and custard to go with it but we are grateful for anything.

“The only things we don’t need are baked beans and pasta. We’ve got more than enough of those at the moment,” said Mr Price.

For the full list of what to donate and where, see here

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