As another year draws to a close, the team at the food bank naturally reflect on the year. We have fed very many people in crisis and are amazed at how many of them survive from day to day! Some of the stories we have listened to are horrific and in every case we try and signpost our clients to an appropriate agency for much needed support. Our clients range from the single guy who is homeless to families who are hanging off a precipice by a very thin thread. The largest family we have fed during 2019 totalled 10. We have had clients coming in more than once for support as their benefits are sanctioned due to at times totally illogical reasons.
Our local JobCentre+ have dramatically increased the numbers of people they have signposted to us over the year. One month we had 60 requests via the job centre for support.
West Bromwich is a very deprived area but we have been totally amazed by the generosity of residents, local churches and local businesses as we have appealed for donations of food. Tom Watson, the former MP for our town together with Liam Byrne MP led an appeal for donations based in Tesco New Square. The response was terrific!
Our single largest donation we have ever received in our twelve years of operating came in just before Christmas and was organised by our good friends at West Brom Town Bid who worked with town centre businesses. They acted as collection points for staff and shoppers to drop off donations.
As we enter 2020 we are bracing ourselves for an anticipated upsurge in people requesting help.
Please accept the sincere thanks of the food bank team for all your support and encouragement during 2019. We could not have done it without you!