2020 AGM REPORT FOR LICHFIELD FOODBANK

LICHFIELD FOODBANK – ANNUAL REPORT 2019/20

In date terms, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has largely fallen into our 2020/21 operating year. I will comment on it at the end of the report.

Turning first to the 2019/20 operating year – our sixth – we have fed a record number of people. In the Lichfield area alone we fed 2792 individuals, an 83% increase on 2018/19. We have seen so many more families in poverty this year. Behind the 83%, sits an increase of 139% in children fed. This is a very sad state of affairs.

That we are still here and able to service such an increase is a testament to our 180 volunteers and the support of hundreds of others who donate food and money at churches, supermarkets and businesses every day in Lichfield and the surrounding villages. Thank you everyone!

We have continued to support our neighbours in need, sending food on a regular basis to the Salvation Army in Burton, the Glebe Centre in Walsall and the asylum-seekers’ charity ‘ASHA’ in Stoke.

At Christmas, we gave out over 400 Christmas food bags, once again including fresh meat vouchers (redeemable at Robert Meehan Butchers) and fresh fruit & veg vouchers (redeemable at Riley’s Greengrocers). We have been able to continue giving the fruit & veg vouchers on a weekly basis.

In the last six years to 31st March 2020 we have given away the equivalent of 467,000 meals and, by the time you read this, we will have distributed more than half a million meals!

In last year’s annual report I referred to the Trussell Trust campaigning for the end of institutionalized poverty in the UK. I noted that we would talk to our volunteers in case anyone might wish to lead some local campaigning. Nobody put their hand up so we stuck to what we do best – feeding people.

In view of what happened at the end of the year this was no bad thing. We reshaped what we do to minimize the time we spend with clients. Around 80% of our volunteer force has withdrawn but many younger people – some working and some on furlough - have stepped forward to help. Lichfield Round Table has been collecting for us, the supermarkets have weighed in with food and many individuals and street collections have kept us going.

Demand rose dramatically and has remained fairly stable. Compared to an average of 59 people per week fed in February we have fed an average of 132 individuals since late March, an increase of 124%.

As always, we are very grateful for the continued support of Churches Together in Lichfield – thank you!

David Clarke

Chair, Lichfield foodbank Executive Working Group

 


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