Foodbank Annual Report

Oswestry and Borders Food Bank

website:-  oswestryandborders.foodbank.org.uk

Oswestry & Borders Foodbank AGM 3 June 2015

Extract from Manager’s report

We are looking back on the financial year April 2014 to March 2015 which is our third full financial year of operation. Last year I was reporting a huge increase in the number of people needing to access the foodbank. In addition to the Trussell Trust arrangement for collection days at Tesco’s we had held collections at Morrisons and Stan’s supermarkets because we needed the extra food. We had expanded our distribution centres to both St Martin’s and Weston Rhyn in addition to Ellesmere and Oswestry. This year I have to report a drop in the number of clients, although not to the level of our first full year of operation.

Let me show you some statistics 

                                                  2012-2013           2013 -2014                2014-2015

vouchers                                   550                           1,051                          747

people                                      1,212                         2,517                          1,735*

food      kg                                12,050                       23,751                        19,421

*This was just over 300 different households

Just as we had no concrete evidence for the huge rise in numbers in 2013-2014, ( although we believe it was due to changes in the benefit system)we have no clear explanation for the recent drop in numbers. There are other foodbanks in the country experiencing a similar slowdown in activity but by no means all, and the there is no clear national picture. We can only assume that the local unemployment rate is down and that delays and other problems relating to benefit payments have decreased. 

This drop in demand has had two consequences for our operations.

Firstly, we have decided to close the centres in St Martin’s and Weston Rhyn as volunteers were spending a lot of time manning a distribution centre with few if any clients attending.

Secondly, because our donors have continued to be very generous, we have a storage problem for our current stock.

We are waiting to see what effect any actions by the new government will have. With £12 billion of cuts announced in their manifesto it may well be that the need for will increase in the coming months and our current stock levels will be needed.

We are particularly grateful to all our donors - the people who regularly put items in a collecting box in their church (we had donations from 37 different churches last year) or workplace, at Tesco’s in Ellesmere or Sainsbury’s in Oswestry – and also the one-off donations such as schools and churches at Harvest time, or for example the staff at Woodside Primary School who donated 100 chocolate Advent Calendars in December. Without the donations of food the foodbank would not exist, and also without the generous financial donations from a large number of individuals and groups we would not be able to operate in our building in Beatrice Street. 

So thank you all donors for keeping the foodbank going for another year.

Phil Simpson, 3rd June 2015