Foodbank Update

As you are probably aware, the North Guildford Foodbank operate out of 3 centres: St Clare's Church in Park Barn, The New Hope Centre in Bellfields & the Bushy Hill Community Centre in Merrow. The following may perhaps be the most interesting for you as donors:

1. In terms of overall numbers, they have continued to increase significantly this year, with an increase of 38% in the number of 'parcels' given out. The increase has been building year on year, so this increase is on top of an increase of 29% last year. It is worth noting that each voucher/food parcel feeds an average household size of about 3 people. We vary the size of the parcel depending on the number of people to be fed, and generally the contents are designed to last for about 3 days (although many items would last longer than this eg tea, coffee, household products, nappies etc).

2. The above figures exclude the last 2 weeks in March the start of the covid-19 lockdown, when we saw a huge spike in usage - 107 vouchers in two weeks. The numbers have eased since then to an average of about 45 vouchers per week in April (the average pre-covid level was 15 a week).

3. In terms of the nature of the issues that have brought clients to us, benefits issues remain the highest reason at 30%. Low income is the next most significant issue.

4. October, December and January were our busiest months of 2019/20, ignoring the huge spike in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Christmas week was our highest with 58 parcels in one week - only exceeded by the first week of Covid-19 (67 parcels).

5. Fuel 'top ups' – clients very much appreciate that we are able to put money on their gas and electricity accounts where they are paying on a card or a key. The amount spent this year increased by 31% to £6221 - which fits with the increased overall numbers of clients. The money for these top-ups comes from financial donations to the foodbank.
6. Most clients continue to be from GU1 (41%) & GU2 (32%). These 2 postcode areas account for 73% of clients

We’d like to reassure you that donations to the Food bank have also increased over the last year - & though we had a few tricky weeks at the start of the crisis, our stock levels are now very healthy - so much so that we have been able to be more generous in what products we give out!... though we have had to suspend fuel top ups due to practical difficulties of administering them since the start of the lock-down.  We have also had to make radical changes to the way that we operate in the past month so that we can protect clients & volunteers - and are now making home deliveries to many clients. There will need to be more changes in the time ahead, but we want to assure you that we are in a good position to continue to meet anticipated needs - thanks to the generosity of so many donors.  

We would like to stress that at the moment we do not need additional donations over & above what you are already giving. However, we want to thank you for your support, and hope that we could be in touch with you if we need any extra help in the future.  

Best wishes & thank you again for your support over the last year,

Zoe on behalf of the team

Administration Team
North Guildford Food Bank

07583 025435


Parish Administrator, 04/05/2020

 Church Life