Food Bank

This week’s requests:

From: Zoe Watts <>
Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021 at 14:18
To: North Guildford Food Bank <>
Subject: Thanks from North Guildford Food Bank

Dear kind supporter,

I know that most of you are aware of Heather’s sad passing.  Jo has stepped up as interim coordinator, and we continue to progress plans for the Food bank going forward as we know Heather would want 

One of the things that she did in May was to put together our annual statistics. We haven’t managed to fully up-date them, but did feel that we wanted to share the main headlines for the year ending April 2021 with you. Apologies that we haven’t got these out to you earlier – but nevertheless, we hope that you will find them interesting & helpful.

As you’d expect, we’ve been hugely busier than pre-Covid, and you’ll see that in fact we’ve been over 100% busier!  In previous years we’d been seeing on average a 30% increase year on year, which demonstrates what a big jump this year has been.  The chart below shows the number of parcels distributed month on month compared to last year.  April 20 was the first full month of lockdown and was our busiest ever at that point.  Demand gradually calmed as new projects around the town became established, and then eased off further into the summer.  It then grew again leading up to Christmas and the second lockdown, December being a new record.  

The main reasons for referral given is ‘low income’ (almost 30% of referrals), followed by ‘benefit issues’, ‘unemployment’, ‘debt’ and ‘sickness’. Our top referrers over the period have been home school link workers, Guildford Council and Guildford Action. 

Since February we’ve developed a process with SCA (Surrey Community Action) to allow us to top-up a client’s gas & electricity accounts if they’re on pre-payment meters – as you can imagine people have found it a huge help and have often been quite overwhelmed by what we’ve been able to do for them.   At the time of writing the amount spent has been over £10,000 – which we’ve been able to cover from the incredibly generous donations of local people.   These donations have also allowed us to buy in a significant amount of the food we’ve been distributing and to increase the size of our parcels to be closer to a week’s worth of food.   In addition we’ve been able to include supermarket vouchers in our parcels at Christmas and Easter, again something that clients have really appreciated.  

We’re particularly grateful to several local organisations who we’ve partnered with this year:

St Clare’s Church have been hugely flexible in allowing us to almost take over their building at times

Guildford Lions have continued to faithfully supply us with fresh potatoes, carrots and eggs despite the huge increase in demand

Surrey Community Action (SCA) have facilitated the energy payments and paid the administrative fee from funding of their own

Guildford Borough Council has provided us with delivery drivers and a van on Wednesday mornings which has allowed us to cover areas such as Ash, Albury and Clandon.

 We couldn’t possibly have met the huge rise in demand without the tremendous support that we have received from so many of you – indeed your support continues to outstrip the increase in demand, allowing us in turn to be generous to those who are most in need in our town. We also continue to be blessed by a wonderful team of volunteers who work so hard to make the operation of the Food Bank possible.

We hope that this up-date is helpful.  Thank you once again for your generous support. 

Jo, Zoe, Les and the wider team

North Guildford Food Bank 

e:  t: 07583 025435

North Guildford Food Bank

Registered charity number: 1188640

North Guildford Food Bank