Foodbanks to merge to keep supporting people in crisis
Yate & Chipping Sodbury Foodbank will merge with North Bristol Foodbank at the end of August. The charities, which are part of the Trussell Trust network, agreed the move in order to ensure the provision of distributing emergency food to people experiencing poverty can continue in South Gloucestershire.
The team at North Bristol Foodbank will now oversee the management of foodbank outlets in Yate, Mangotsfield and Thornbury after the project manager at Yate & Chipping Sodbury decided to retire earlier this year. The level of signposting support and access to emergency food will remain unchanged.
Work is now underway to update referral agencies in the area of the merge and name change but both charities have stressed support is still available to people in crisis, with the number of people needing emergency food increasing year-on-year.
Between March 2018 to April 2019, the food banks combined, handed out 7,402 three-day emergency food parcels to people in crisis. A total of 3,130 of these went to children.
Matt Dobson, North Bristol Foodbank Manager, said:
“No one in North Bristol or South Gloucestershire should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all. But more and more people are finding that their income simply won’t stretch to cover the basics like food.”
“In order to continue to meet this need most effectively, the decision has been made to merge Yate & Chipping Sodbury Foodbank with North Bristol to provide crucial support to people facing hunger. The decision was driven by the retirement of the project manager at Yate and the team struggling to find a replacement. Since then, the two foodbank teams have worked together closely to ensure that help will continue to be available and going forwards, we will continue collecting donations and ensure emergency food continues to reach local people at risk of going hungry in South Gloucestershire.”
“We want to reassure people that the foodbank outlets will continue to be run by local people, for local people thanks to the generous support of our communities.”
Stewart North, Chair of Trustees of North Bristol Foodbank, said:
“Since we started in August 2012, we have been committed to partnership with local churches, schools and organisations to support those who are struggling in our communities. This vision continues as we all work together in times of uncertainty. Foodbank outlets will continue to be open in Southmead, Horfield, Lockleaze, Filton, Patchway, Yate, Thornbury and Mangotsfield.”