Grace Food Bank

 The food bank is able to help its clients because of the support and involvement of the community. Over 25 churches, several local schools and a number of community groups and workplaces collect food. Food is also collected from Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Tesco. When the food comes in it is weighed, sorted and datechecked by volunteers and then packed into bags ready for distribution. The food donated last year weighed 28,168 kg. Using the Trussell Trust valuation of £1.68 per kg that amounts to an estimated cash equivalent of £47,322. Food parcels are provided, initially for three weeks, to families and individuals who are referred by a wide range of health and social care professionals or workers in the voluntary sector. The main reason why people are referred to the foodbank is problems with the benefits system, typically delays or sanctions. The number of clients presenting with debts is increasing. Two years into the benefit freeze people’s incomes have shrunk in real terms and very small items of unexpected expenditure are pushing them into debt. A growing number of clients have problems related to their immigration status; such cases can take a long time to resolve. Advice Sheffield received grants from Sheffield City Council and the Big Lottery Fund to provide advice workers to work specifically with foodbank clients. Grace Food Bank was one of the first chosen to take part and has had an advice worker
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at their Tuesday sessions since April 2015. She has helped many people to get the benefits they should have been getting, cancel the arrears they should not have accrued, and take control of their debts. Some problems are solved quickly, others take many months but the impact can be truly transformational and lead to many clients no longer needing help from the foodbank. Last year, a grant from South Yorkshire Energy Centre and some money from another grant enabled the food bank to top up clients’ electricity and gas pre-payment cards. This helped their clients to cook the food they were given, to shower and to have some heating. This was really valuable over the exceptionally long, cold winter. Taken from the Grace Food Bank Annual Report
The most useful items to donate are ones requiring fewest extra ingredients and least cooking. A jar of pasta sauce that just needs heating up and pouring over pasta is more useful than a sachet of chicken casserole mix which needs a lot of extra ingredients. Also needed are tinned and instant mashed potatoes, tinned custard or rice pudding and tinned meat. If you would like to donate sanitary protection the sort we most need is regular (or teenage). Contacts can get the products into secondary schools but they don’t need the higher absorbency products.
 The food bank is able to help its clients because of the support and involvement of the community. Over 25 churches, several local schools and a number of community groups and workplaces collect food. Food is also collected from Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Tesco. When the food comes in it is weighed, sorted and datechecked by volunteers and then packed into bags ready for distribution. The food donated last year weighed 28,168 kg. Using the Trussell Trust valuation of £1.68 per kg that amounts to an estimated cash equivalent of £47,322. Food parcels are provided, initially for three weeks, to families and individuals who are referred by a wide range of health and social care professionals or workers in the voluntary sector. The main reason why people are referred to the foodbank is problems with the benefits system, typically delays or sanctions. The number of clients presenting with debts is increasing. Two years into the benefit freeze people’s incomes have shrunk in real terms and very small items of unexpected expenditure are pushing them into debt. A growing number of clients have problems related to their immigration status; such cases can take a long time to resolve. Advice Sheffield received grants from Sheffield City Council and the Big Lottery Fund to provide advice workers to work specifically with foodbank clients. Grace Food Bank was one of the first chosen to take part and has had an advice worker
at their Tuesday sessions since April 2015. She has helped many people to get the benefits they should have been getting, cancel the arrears they should not have accrued, and take control of their debts. Some problems are solved quickly, others take many months but the impact can be truly transformational and lead to many clients no longer needing help from the foodbank. Last year, a grant from South Yorkshire Energy Centre and some money from another grant enabled the food bank to top up clients’ electricity and gas pre-payment cards. This helped their clients to cook the food they were given, to shower and to have some heating. This was really valuable over the exceptionally long, cold winter. Taken from the Grace Food Bank Annual Report
The most useful items to donate are ones requiring fewest extra ingredients and least cooking. A jar of pasta sauce that just needs heating up and pouring over pasta is more useful than a sachet of chicken casserole mix which needs a lot of extra ingredients. Also needed are tinned and instant mashed potatoes, tinned custard or rice pudding and tinned meat. If you would like to donate sanitary protection the sort we most need is regular (or teenage). Contacts can get the products into secondary schools but they don’t need the higher absorbency products.

Food needed at the moment includes jars of pasta sauce, instant mashed potato, tomato ketchup, jam, sweet and savoury biscuits and packets of plain white rice.