Back in September I put out a call asking for your help once again to contribute to the #foodbankmovement I’ve been organising for the last couple of years.
Over the course of the past few weeks I have hassled people for their help, sometimes having a big mouth comes in handy. I had set myself a target of £1000, it was ambitious to say the least, but with your help we sailed past the total and online donations collected totalled £1333, some from local people, some from up and down the UK, and far as Australia and America. Donations also came in from people who came to collect cake and gave me the cash, which I spent each time I went to the supermarket on varying Christmas treats, and as well as that people also did their own collections and delivered them to my door to add to the growing pile of food. I had ordered 252 selection boxes from Tesco in advance after seeking advise from someone in Tesco in case I wasn’t able to get the required amount when it came to doing the big shop. We got some looks for sure.
On November 30th I went for the big shop with £1081. My husband and I spent about 3.5 hours shopping for food and necessities, I lost count of the amount of trollies we used. We decided to do the shopping in 3 bits, it was easier to keep track of how much money was being spent, despite that I still over spent by a couple of pound. Paul packed the car up and we did 3 runs to get it back home. It was tiring to say the least, but worth it.
We got many Christmas treats ranging from boxes of chocolates, mince pies, cakes and crisps to essential food stuffs like rice, pasta, jam, pasta sauces, tinned veg and part baked baguettes. We also picked up nappies, baby food and toiletries and washing powder too.
Because of the huge amount of food collected it became evident that it couldn’t all go to one foodbank. For the past couple of years I have taken it to The Noah’s Ark Centre in Speke but they don’t have enough storage space on site, and end up distributing it to other foodbanks. I decided to split it in to 4 piles, 2 smaller piles and 2 larger piles, and with the help of my friends Sophie and Bren (massive thanks guys) we spent the evening sorting it all out. Below is a picture of just some of the food, there’s a video on my Instagram where you can see it better. I couldn’t move in my living room at all.
If there was a zombie apocalypse I’d of been sorted for food for months! I like to think I’d be like Carol from the Walking Dead – tough and kick ass, but in reality I’d be Eugene – cowering away from everything living and dead, so those nappies would of come in handy too.
We hired a van (at my own cost) and went and distributed it on December 1st, just in time for Christmas.
The 2 smaller parcels went to The Noah’s Ark Centre and the other to The Bridge Chapel, in South Liverpool, both part of the Trussel Trust.
The 2 larger piles went to St Andrews Community Centre in North Liverpool and Frontline Centre for the Central Liverpool foodbank. Both of which have sufficient storage space and distribute to other foodbanks.
Whilst at St Andrews I got talking to one of the volunteers Dan who with another volunteer kindly showed me around the warehouse.
They showed me how some of the boxes were full (pasta/beans) and lots were empty (jam/rice puddings). One thing that they are in need of is instant mash, the lady had mentioned that because some people only have a kettle instant mash is a must. Dan gave me a check-list of what a typical foodparcel would consist of for a single person.
That parcel is for 3 days emergency food. The lady at Frontline said they were giving up to 2 tonnes of food to people each week. To all those people who donated and said “I’m sorry it’s not much” it all helps feed people in crisis. Below is the amount of food taken to Frontline, all your “not much” equalled “so much”.
My dad came up a couple of weeks ago and asked me why I do this, I’ll tell you what I told him. I do it because it’s the right thing to do, to be able to help change someone’s situation even for one meal is the right thing to do. To be able to give someone a selection box when they might not get one is the right thing to do. Sometimes the media concentrates on the hate that spills into the world, but you only have to look around to see how much love is in the world. In 2015 people in crisis are relying on foodbanks to help feed themselves, hunger doesn’t just happen in third world countries.
I cannot thank you enough for your donations, food and time. To be supported like this is out of this world, and I am extremely touched. A massive thank you to Tesco also who waived the 5p bag charge for the collection, it really helped the cause.
I love you guys.