For information on 'How to donate to the Food Bank' please see Ludlow Food Bank Facebook page.
The food bank in Ludlow is a ministry of Ludlow Baptist Church, but is supported by all the churches in Ludlow.
We give food parcels to people in crisis situations, who are referred to us.
The Food Bank phone number is: 07896 706189
Please do not ring the church number as all food bank enquiries must go through the number above
We have volunteers on duty 11a.m.-1p.m. Monday to Friday, when agency workers or parcel recipients can collect their parcels.
We do not offer an automatic delivery service, but parcels can be delivered by special arrangement.
Address: Ludlow Baptist Church, Rockspring Community Centre, Sandford Road, Ludlow, SY8 1SX
Ludlow Food Bank Quarterly Report March 2021
The last three months have in many ways been a continuation of 2020. For most of the first three months we have continued to be in lockdown, and many people’s lives have been restricted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Thankfully the food bank still has a good number of volunteers who are well enough to be able to come in for their 2 hour sessions. We also have a new stock manager, and a new volunteer coordinator. Thank you Clare and Sue. Debbie who used to fulfill both of these roles now has paid work, so has had to step aside for a few months. It has been strange to not have her working at the food bank, as she has been involved since the very beginning in 2005.
Just after Christmas we had so much stock that we were in danger of taking over the whole Rockspring Centre. This was not an ideal situation as we were worried that food was going to go past its use by date, which would have been a terrible waste. Rockspring also wanted to start planning for an eventual re-opening.
Clare and her husband worked very hard to sort and organise all of this stock. They were helped by members of Working Together who also use the facilities at Rockspring. We have been able to use up a huge amount of this surplus stock, but there were certain items that we just had so much of that we would not have been able to use it in time. Thanks to the Shropshire Food Poverty alliance we have links with other food banks in the area, and we have been able to share our surplus with them.
We did ask people to pause their donations to us at this time, but are now in a position to receive donations again. The items which we run out of most frequently are shown above.
We have continued to be almost as busy this year as we were last year. In January - March 2020 we gave away 160 food parcels. In the same period this year we have given away 141 food parcels.
We have given out 141 food parcels which contained enough food to feed 332 people for at least a week. One food parcel recipient was able to make his food parcel last for a month. When we remove all the repeats, we have helped 249 separate individuals in and around Ludlow so far this year.
Altogether we have given out 34 repeat parcels, and 1 family has had 5 parcels. When people have repeat parcels, it is usually because they are going through a particularly difficult spell. It may be that a person has experienced a major trauma and has been suffering so much from anxiety that they have been unable to leave the house. Someone like this will be referred to us by professionals working with them who may ask for regular repeat parcels. It may be that someone has lost their job, and it is taking some time for their benefits to be organised. We do not do this as a matter of course.
As can be seen from the above chart the main reason for needing a food parcel is still problems with benefit payments. Although the proportion has reduced from previous years. More people are reporting simple financial difficulties.
The number of homeless people we have helped this year has dropped significantly. The main reason for this is because of where Homeless people are now being housed. Many are now staying at the Travellers’ Rest, Craven Arms or the Mayfair Centre in Church Stretton. The food banks in Craven Arms and Church Stretton are reporting an increase in the number of homeless people they are supporting. Last year we helped people at the Travelodge (both Wooferton and Foldgate Lane) we also helped people who were temporarily housed at The Feathers during the first Lockdown last year. It would appear that these hotels are no longer putting up homeless people.
Seventeen food parcels were given out because of reasons other than those listed above. Nine were needed directly because of Covid 19. Six were victims of domestic abuse. One was because someone had moved house and used all their money in fees and other costs associated with a move. One was a victim of fraud.
The above chart shows the referrers and how many food parcels have been referred by them. By far the biggest single referrer has been 'In Person', which means that the person has contacted us for a parcel for themselves. We do ask why they need a parcel, and very often there is a great deal of embarrassment about asking for a food parcel. When the person clearly needs further help, they will be directed to other agencies.
The number of food parcels given out each month has been quite similar, between 45 - 50 each month.
The number of children helped each month has also been very similar. These are not the same children each month.
When we record the age of the food parcel recipient it is the age of the named recipient - very often this is the mother in a family.
Once again we have seen very few people over 65 years of age. From this graph it would seem that the young adults and families are the ones struggling the most.
A very large proportion (78%) of people coming to Ludlow food bank do live in Ludlow itself.
There are food banks now in Cleobury Mortimer and Craven Arms, but they only open one day per week, so sometimes people have just missed that day and come to Ludlow instead. We open 5 days a week 11am - 1pm Monday to Friday.
In the past Wednesday has traditionally been our busiest day, but this year it is our quietest. I really don’t know why.
There is a feeling among the members of the food poverty alliance that as we come out of lockdown, more people will be needing to turn to local food banks. It could be that many businesses close and unemployment increases. Thankfully we have good systems in place, and should be able to cope with an increase in demand. We have also been given very generous cash donations and have been able to access some grants during 2020. We may lose some of our volunteers as pressure of work increases for them, however we do have a waiting list of people who would like to volunteer with us, but we have not been able to train them during lockdown. Hopefully we will be able to start training people soon. Everyone who works for the food bank is a volunteer.
As well as giving out food in our food parcels, we give £5 vouchers which can be used at the butchers and greengrocers in town. We give each person one butcher voucher and one fruit and veg voucher. If we are told that the parcel is going to a vegan or vegetarian we can give two fruit and veg vouchers.
This year we did give vouchers to the Ludlow primary schools which were distributed to children who normally have free school meals during the February half term. Shropshire Council have secured funding so that all eligible children in Shropshire will receive provision for the school holidays this Easter and the May half term.
In total we have given away 406 fruit and veg vouchers and 409 butcher vouchers. Not all of the vouchers are used, possibly because of access problems or embarrassment. We buy the vouchers back from the local traders, but the unused ones only cost us the printing costs. The butcher vouchers are the most popular, with 89% being used, and the fruit and veg vouchers have an uptake rate of 70.9%.
We are very happy that this scheme helps local traders as well as food parcel recipients.
In the run up to Easter, we have received kind donations of Easter eggs. Applegreen garage have been collecting creme eggs for us, and we have received some others from individuals.
One of these individuals is a remarkable young man called Oliver, aged 8. He brought us 50 large Easter eggs! He had seen a programme on TV about a family needing to use a food bank. This made him want to make some children happy who may not otherwise get much at Easter. Oliver appealed to family and friends to donate Easter eggs so that he could give them to theLudlow Food Bank. What a star, thank you very much Oliver. Your family must be very proud of you.
Since he brought them to us, every child who has been referred to us has been able to have a lovely Easter egg. We are also planning to deliver eggs to children in Ludlow who have received food parcels earlier this year.
Many thanks to everyone who has supported us in any way, either by volunteering, donating food or donating money. We really would not be able to do it without you.