2023 Annual Meeting Highlights

Highlights of the 8th Annual Meeting held on Monday 13th March 2023.

The move to the Wickham Community Centre has been a huge success

The Volunteer team has been strengthened with the appointment of a number of new team members

We are indebted to the Rotary Club of Bishops Waltham. Every week one of their members comes with their own car to help us with home deliveries

Food donations have held up well although with the increased demand on our service we are now placing large orders with ASDA almost every week to balance our stock

Financial donations have reached record levels

This surplus of cash has enabled us to provide much needed help to a number of other local organisations focused on the relief of poverty including:

  • Southampton Street Pastors
  • Christmas Complete
  • Home-Start Hampshire
  • Southampton City Mission
  • Citizens Advice The Big Difference
  • Rotary Club of Bishops Waltham
  • Meon Valley Lions

Successful Christmas initiative supporting families whose children benefit from free school meals saw us providing food for 57 additional families

Key figures comparing 2021 and 2022:

  • Households helped (July to December) increased by 85%
  • People supported (July to December) increased by 46%
  • Total number of people supported (full calendar year) was over 1800. Children account for 37% of this total
  • In January 2021 we helped 16 families. In January 2022 it was 30 and in January of this year 48 – a threefold increase in 3 years

Thank you to Dr Sanjay Mall (pictured above), who heads up The Big Difference in Southampton, for the insight into the food poverty challenges faced in a city environment. The Big Difference redistributes food that would probably be sent to landfill and is now instead made available to schools, churches and other community groups including food banks. Over £2 million worth of food has been redistributed in the last 3 years.

The Future

The Trustees have taken the decision to recruit a paid Food Bank Manager as the work required to keep the organisation working smoothy has become too great to be handled by a small number of volunteers.

An advertisement for the position will be released shortly.