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MK Community Foundation provides 4 months funding to MK Foodbank

WHAT IS MK FOODBANK AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

MK Food Bank helps to feed local families and individuals who have been referred by agencies as needing
support. Pre pandemic, MK Food Bank relied mostly on donations - of both food and money - from local
schools, churches, businesses, organisations and individuals, with their warehouse and serving centres
being manned by volunteers from the local area.
Food parcels could be collected from one of the serving sessions located around the city and clients could
receive their donation 6 times within a rolling 12 month period, and on occasion more frequently.
Through the information that MK Food Bank receives, it is able to monitor whether services are meeting
needs, to be aware of the underlying reasons for which beneficiaries are requesting food and also signpost
to the appropriate agency those individuals requiring a more sustainable solution to their difficulties.


WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
Pre pandemic, the charity had already witnessed a rapid increase in demand for its service by those
suffering from financial crisis, hardship and unemployment.
Now the effects of Covid-19 were increasing that need, as reasons such as self-isolation, illness,
bereavement and other vulnerabilities meant a severe shortage of food for many. Individuals were finding
themselves without work or money, were waiting for benefit claims, were ill or having to stay in their homes,
all of which was making it harder to access those services normally be available to them.
The lockdown resulted in a massive increase in the demand for MK Food Bank’s services, whilst
simultaneously meaning a serious decline in food donations.


WHAT DIFFERENCE DID THE APPEAL AWARD MAKE?
With the award funding, and in partnership with Milton Keynes Council, the charity launched Food Bank
XTRA, an enlarged food bank operation, far more able to effectively and efficiently support its community.
Since its launch on 26 March 2020, what was a 'normal', pre pandemic food parcel delivery figure of over
1,000 per month, has risen to 1,000 per week. Funding received has been able to meet the most critical
need - food - a month's supply of which costs as much as £50,000. (Also to be taken into account were
certain ancillary activities, such as logistics and other organisational running costs)
The partnership with MK Council also means that, with more people benefitting from the food bank, it’s also
easier for them to gain access to other services that they need, and of which Joanne is a good example.

 

 

 

FOODBANK CASE STUDY STORY: (names have been changed)


Meet Joanne.


It’s March. Lockdown has just been enforced and together with her two young children, Joanne’s living with
an abusive partner in a city in the North East.
She desperately needs to escape this domestic violence, for the safety of both herself and her children.
Getting as far away as possible - despite having to leave friends, family and her home town – is the only safe
course of action. She’s rehoused many hundreds of miles away in Milton Keynes.


Joanne’s never been to Milton Keynes before. She knows no one and has to stay in temporary
accommodation with small children.
Although very grateful to be safe, she finds herself penniless whilst benefits are being arranged. As a
consequence Joanne’s unable to feed her children.


Her support worker tells her about Food Bank Xtra and she rings the helpline.
With no knowledge of either the local area or transport she’s unable to get to a collection centre, so MK
Food Bank deliver a food parcel that same day, along with sufficient nappies and basic toiletries to last her
three days, whilst she settles in.


“Though I knew I was safe in my new home I had arrived with nothing. Not being able to feed my two children was
so stressful, what with everything else that was going on in lockdown. I was crying all the time and felt so
desperate.


When the lady from the Food Bank told me I could have a delivery I almost burst into tears again on the phone. As
soon as I realised I had enough to feed my babies for a few days, I was able to calm down, take a breath and
concentrate on doing the things I needed to do to settle into my new life without stressing about food and nappies.
The helpline also helped me get in touch with the right people to help sort my life out and things look so much
brighter now. I'm getting to know my area and now that my benefits have come through I am able to put a couple
of things in the Foodbank trolley in the supermarket, so I can help others like you helped me.


Thank you so much”

 

 

Our emergency appeal has helped so many local community groups so far...but there are still many more who need support to deliver their vital work in these difficult times.

You can help! 

Donate now to our Emergency appeal to support some of the most vulnerable in our communities.