Celebrating its eighth year in early November 2020, York Foodbank is part of a countrywide organisation of 428 food banks run by The Trussell Trust.
Launching in 2012, it was set up by a group of local churches. They felt there was a need for food provision for people who were struggling.
In the beginning, it was a relatively small scale project but a way of just helping people who were struggling.
However, the need has seen a gradual increase with different people needing help for different reasons. Within the first six months of the pandemic, there was an overall increase of 47% of people seeking help, with most of these people using a food bank for the first time.
During this time, 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given out to people in crisis between April and September – statistics released by the Trussell Trust.
Adam Raffell, Foodbank Manager, said: “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve had a 79% increase on last year from the start of April. April and May had four times the number of people seeking help. This was the biggest month in the history of the food bank at the beginning of lockdown.”
He added: “A foodbank is no perfect fit for helping someone in poverty, it provides emergency support. The harder problem is then trying to follow on with long term solutions to ensure that people don’t get swept into poverty, we believe that no one should need to use a food bank.”
The vast majority of the food that is given out is donated by people in the local community (schools, businesses, churches and individuals).
Adam described it as, “a real story of local people helping local people.” He added, ” we are really deeply touched and impacted on the level of generosity that we’ve seen throughout the city of York throughout the pandemic, I think this is a story of a community coming together to help those who are struggling”.
How to donate
- Waitrose (Foss Islands) – front of the store near exits.
- Asda (Monks Cross) – front of the store near exits.
- Tesco (Askam Bar) – front of the store near exits.
- Foodbank Warehouse – York Foodbank, Unit 5 Sterling Park, Bleriot Way, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4WU.