In 2019, we distributed almost 15,000 emergency food bags to people in crisis situations and at risk of going without food. This is the highest number of food bags we have ever given out in a 12-month period and, for us, is a record we're not at all happy about achieving.
Sadly, we can only imagine that this year will continue to see our food bank, and many others, stretched to the limit.
Our most frequently asked question, without a doubt, is: "what kind of donations do you need the most" and the answer is nearly always the same - "any non-perishable, nutritious items". However, the main items that we are almost always short of these days are: breakfast cereals (the kinds with added vitamins are ideal); long life milk, peanut butter and tins of meat or fish. These are amongst the staple items that go into every bag, providing some of the nutrients, vitamins, fibre and protein that people need to maintain a level of health. Other items such as "chunky" soups, pasta, instant mash, tinned veg and rice pudding are filling and wholesome foods for a family.
Another question we often get is "are there any items we shouldn't donate?" This is a bit trickier for us to answer, as we don't want to seem ungrateful, but... any packets or jars that have been opened or partly used can't be put into our food bags as we can no longer vouch for their safety; sugar, fizzy drinks and alcohol (!) have no nutritious value and can even do more harm than good, and perishable food items that can go off quickly and potentially cause stomach upsets are also off limits for us too.
Of course we're always happy to answer any questions you might have about donations and we'll keep posting here about items we need and are running short of! 😊