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
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 2020 Annual Report
I think I have heard the word “unprecedented” more in 2020 than I have ever heard it
before. However, although it is now a little cliched, it really is a word that sums up what has
happened in 2020, and the food bank is no exception.
Many things have been new, or above and beyond our previous experience:
The amount of donations to the food bank have been superlative – both in number of donations and amount of food and money that has been given to us. I would love to be able to thank everyone who has collected for us or donated to us, but it would run to several pages, and I would be sure to miss someone out, which would not be good. I do have some photos of some donations that I will share, but if you are not shown, please know that your donation has meant a lot to us.
The variety of items given to the food bank – this has included normal food items, festive food items, period products, nappies and baby items, dog and cat food and this year we have received very many toys to be given to children in need.
New volunteers, we have had many people wanting to volunteer with us, so much so that we now have a waiting list for new volunteers. This has been wonderful as many of our longstanding volunteers have had to step back due to having to shield.
A new management committee – this became necessary in March as the volume of jobs that needed doing mushroomed, and became far too much for one or two people to be able to do. Everyone working at the food bank is a volunteer. We have no paid staff.
Number of food parcels given out – it is not surprising that this year has seen more people turn to the food bank, with all the uncertainty and restrictions we have seen, it has been good that we have been able to help more people than ever.
A new collaboration with Working Together. Working Together who are a charity working with people with special needs and learning difficulties have been at the Rockspring Centre for a little while now. They were running a successful cafe, but with Lockdown and all the other restrictions we have seen this year, the cafe became unviable. We were finding that we were unable to keep on top of all the donations we were receiving, so Working Together have stepped in and are regularly sorting, checking, organising, and cataloguing all the food that we can’t fit into our room in the Baptist Church. This means that food with a shorter use by date is given out and food with a longer date is stored until it is needed.
Grants and food from official sources. This year is the first year that we have been able to access grants from many different charities, businesses, government departments and other sources. Many thanks to Mark who took on the role of filling out all the application forms – it was a lot of work. We have also received palletts of food from Defra and Fareshare.
Deliveries of food parcels to people who have been shielding or unable to collect from us. For the first time this year we have had a team of drivers who have been able to deliver food parcels to people, and to collect donations from people who were shielding. Some people who received food boxes from the Government in the spring found they were surplus to requirements, so the excess was donated to the food bank, and collected by our team of drivers – it has meant that many very vulnerable people have been helped. Thank you drivers. We do still ask people who can collect their food parcels to do so.
Self-referrals. We have had more people contact us personally to request a food parcel than ever before. This is something that I would like to see reduce, but having spoken to people in this position, many have been really quite desperate, with problems that have clearly been very genuine. I have turned some people down, but not many. Some agencies who we have traditionally relied on for referrals have not been operating this year, or have been very difficult to get hold of.
Vouchers. This year we have provided three different types of vouchers to food parcel recipients. We have been providing Fruit and Veg vouchers for a few years. These vouchers can be spent at Farmers and the Fruit Basket. This has proved a very good way to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to people. We have also been giving out butcher vouchers, first we just gave them out at Christmas, but this year, since July we have been able to give them out with every food parcel. They have proved to be very popular. This Christmas we decided to try “deli” vouchers which have been reasonably successful, and have meant that people have been able to choose cheeses, nuts, pickles and other treats for Christmas. All of these vouchers provide support to our local shops, as we redeem the vouchers that have been used.
Facebook. Although we have had a Facebook Page (Ludlow Food Bank) for a couple of years, I think it is true to say that there has been more posted on there this year than ever before.
Good will from the community in Ludlow. We have been amazed at all the good will that has been poured out to the food bank this year. It really has helped us get through what has been a very challenging time.
In 2020 we gave out 560 food parcels, with enough food to feed 1202 people for a week.
As seen in the above chart this is the most we have ever given out in one year.
Although we have been operating since 2005, I only have the annual data since 2010.
The following table shows the numbers of food parcels given out broken down by family type:
It is quite common for a family to have more than one food parcel in the year, but when we remove all the repeat parcels, we have helped 658 different individuals in the Ludlow area in 2020.
The breakdown of repeat parcels is shown below:
Repeat parcels 251
Individuals/households who have had more than 1 parcel 119
Individuals/households who have had more than 2 parcels 63
Individuals/households who have had more than 3 parcels 35
March and April felt incredibly busy, but December was busier still! Especially as we also gave away 64 Christmas hampers to people who were struggling.
This graph almost doesn’t seem to make sense. In August and December, when we would expect to be helping a lot of children, this wasn’t the case. March, at the start of lockdown was when we helped the most children.
Reasons for Needing a food Parcel
Delays or problems with benefits continues to be the most common reason for needing a food parcel, but there has been an increase in other reasons such as financial and health problems over previous years.
The 12.9% of “other” reasons is broken down in the chart below
43 food parcels were supplied to people who only needed them because of Covid 19. We did supply 4 food parcels to people who were flooded back in February. Six food parcels were given to people who had been moved, and used up all their money in moving fees.
We gave 483 food parcels to people living in Ludlow itself, this was 86.3% of all the food parcels we supplied. We did supply 27 food parcels to people living in Craven Arms. There is a food bank in Craven Arms, but they only open one day a week. Usually the people who needed help from us in Craven Arms had just missed the food bank there and couldn’t wait five or six days without any food.
As already stated, we have had more people self-referring (In Person) than ever before.
The Job Centre in Leominster and Connexus have been the next largest referers this year.
We have seen more people over 65 this year than in previous years, but the proportion of people in that age range is still very low at less than 5%. Most people in this age range needed help because of Covid 19.
Day on which parcels were collected
In May we extended our opening times and started to open on Tuesdays as well as the other week days. The following graph shows that Tuesday has remained our quietest day
The forecast that we are hearing from news agencies and the Independent Food Aid Network is that we are likely to continue to see a high number of people relying on the food bank in the coming months.
Thankfully, such has been the generosity shown to us, we are confident that we will be able to continue to meet the needs in our community.
It is very much my hope that over time we will see less and less people needing the food bank. Until that day comes we will carry on. We may have some tough times ahead, but as we all work together to help the most vulnerable in our society, I will continue to be grateful for the wonderful people who have pulled together during this difficult year and made things less grim in Ludlow than they otherwise might have been.
Thank you so much