For information on 'How to donate to the Food Bank' please see Ludlow Food Bank Facebook page.
The food bank in Ludlow is housed in 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.
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 Half Yearly Report June 2020
We are now half way through 2020. A year which will be remembered for being extraordinary in many ways.
The food bank has been able to continue during lockdown, and we have provided a vital service to many people who would have otherwise gone hungry.
This is mainly due to our active volunteers being able to give us more time, and some new volunteers joining our ranks. Many of our longstanding volunteers have been shielding, so have not been able to attend sessions and make up food parcels.
The Government food boxes for people who are shielding, and the formation of Pulling Together Ludlow have meant that the last few months have been
manageable, even though March and April were extremely busy. In early March I was becoming concerned that we would be called upon to supply boxes to people shielding, but thankfully that was not the case.
As can be seen from the table and chart above, we have given away 300 food parcels so far this year. These parcels contained enough food to feed 647 people for a week. There have been 107 repeat parcels given out to people whose crisis lasted longer than a week. When individuals who have received repeats are taken away from the number of people helped, we have helped 429 different individuals this year. There are 5 households who have received more than 3 food parcels as their situation has been quite prolonged.
As can be seen from the chart above April was our busiest month. All our volunteers had to work very hard in March and April, often making a food parcel every 15 minutes. It was pretty intense. As of 1st May we started to open on Tuesdays increasing our opening days to 5 days a week. Things did quieten down a bit then, but that has meant that we are able to spend some time tidying up.
In previous years we have found that the number of children helped has been close to the total number of food parcels given away. This year however we have given away 300 food parcels and only helped 248 children. I suspect that this is down to the “Free school meal” vouchers that have been given out during lockdown. Families with children who are normally entitled to free school meals were given vouchers worth £3.00 per day (£15.00 per week) for each child to pay for their lunches when at home during lockdown. The Government have announced that this year, this will continue over the school summer holidays. That should mean that we will not have to help so many families during July and August.
Reasons For Needing a food parcel
The chart below shows the most common reasons for needing a food parcel. The pink “Benefits” section means that there have been delays or difficulties in accessing benefits. Health issues and “Other” reasons have increased in proportion this year - largely due to shielding and Covid related problems. The number of food parcels going to homeless people has reduced.
As can be seen in the chart above Covid 19, domestic violence and the February floods have had a significant effect.
Location of Food Parcel Recipients
This year has seen the start of a new food bank in Bishops Castle, and last year one in Cleobury Mortimer. This has meant that a very high proportion (86%) of our food parcels go to people living in Ludlow itself. Craven Arms, Cleobury Mortimer, Clun and Leominster all have their own food banks, but occasionally we are asked to provide food parcels for people living in those towns because of the opening times of the other food banks not fitting in with recipients' needs.
The agency which has referred the most people to us so far this year is Connexus (previously South Shropshire Housing Association). This is followed by the Job Centre in Leominster. Things have been rather different this year, so we have not been able to be as stringent as usual. We have had a number of phone calls from people asking us directly for a food parcel. Often these phone calls have been quite distressing, with examples of lost government food boxes, people unable to access food or money and general panic.
We have only been opening on Tuesdays for our quietest 2 months, so the amount of food parcels given out on Tuesday looks very small compared to the other days. Our Wednesday volunteers have been the busiest.
During Lockdown we have changed the way we do everything, and the work is now much more evenly spread. We have a management committee and several teams. We have teams for shopping, collecting donations, organising the room, administration, finance, reports, Facebook Page, applying for grants and communicating with volunteers. In time we will probably need a fundraising team. Everyone involved with the food bank is a volunteer.
I would like to thank Emily Faye and the Independant Food Area Network (IFAN) for all their help and support during these difficult times. This is a group who work on behalf of independent food banks. There are as many independent food banks as Trussell Trust food banks, and it helps if we can share support, stories and statistics with each other.
Because of the generosity of so many people we have not had to turn anyone away.
There have been many cases of incredible kindness. One lady raised £267 pounds for us via a Go Fund Me page. So many people have given us donations of money or food that it has been hard to keep track of it all.
TM Factors in Hereford brought us very generous donations every week for 8 weeks. They have been incredibly active during the Coronavirus lockdown helping several food banks and other community schemes in this area.
It has been truly heartwarming.
Thank you to everyone for your support
Ruth Davies (Co-ordinator)