During these times of austerity food banks have started to get more enquiries as more families are finding it difficult to earn enough to buy all their weekly groceries. Once the rent and bills are paid there is scant money left for the basic food stuffs. Food banks provide a lifeline for thousands of people across the country now. But, what are they and where are they? How do you know if you are eligible to receive food?
What Are Food Banks?
The UK’s food banks are run by charities, and most are managed by The Trussell Trust, which is a Christian community project (reg. charity 1110522) which serves both the UK and also Bulgaria. Although they are a Christian group they serve all people regardless of faith or beliefs.
In 2012/13 food banks helped to feed almost 350,000 people in the UK, which included around 125,000 children. There are now over 370 food banks operated by the Trussell Trust in the UK. Many are held within churches and community centres.
“If there was no foodbank I’d have to steal something to feed my family.”
Jamie, Andover Foodbank client
Food Banks provide food boxes which contains the following standard set of items:
- Milk (UHT or powdered)
- Sugar (500g)
- Fruit juice (carton)
- Pasta sauces
- Sponge pudding (tinned)
- Tomatoes (tinned)
- Rice pudding (tinned)
- Tea Bags/instant coffee
- Instant mash potato
- Tinned meat/fish
- Tinned fruit
- Biscuits or snack bar
All food has a long shelf life and provides lots of energy and a good balance of nutrients too.
Essex Food Banks
These details were sourced from the Trussell Trust website on 5th September 2013. Check the website for the latest: http://www.trusselltrust.org/map
- The Waterfront Place Wharf Road Chelmsford CM2 6LU
- 01245 790769
- St Margaret’s Church 348 Mersea Road Colchester C02 8RA
- 01206 576 859
- Pitsea Leisure Centre, Northlands Pavement, Pitsea, Basildon, Essex, SS13 3DW
- 07424 660 862
Braintree Area foodbank
- Christ Church Braintree, London Road, Braintree, CM7 2LD
- 01376 330694
- Breakthru Church, Crown Street,Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4BD
- 01277 229189
- Thurrock Christian Fellowship, 2-4 Chase Road, Corringham, SS17 7QH
- 07928 879068
Harold Hill foodbank
- 153 Hilldene Avenue Harold Hill Romford RM3 8DL
- 01708 386323
Collier Row foodbank
- The Ascension Church Hall, Collier Row Road, Collier Row, Romford, RM5 2BA
- 01708 745626
- The Rainbow Centre, 2 Wych Elm, Harlow, Essex CM20 1QP
- 01279 724515
- King of Kings Community Centre, Mardyke Community Centre, South Street Rainham Essex, RM13 8PJ
- 01708 521728
- House Of Faith Connections, 104 New Road, Dagenham Essex RM9 6PE
- 020 8595 0122
There are several food banks still in development across Essex, with banks planned for Clacton and Southchurch (near Southend-on-Sea).