As we share #RANoHungryChild stories, we have been encouraging you to join the fight to end childhood hunger by supporting your local food banks. You can give that support by donating money directly, purchasing and dropping off food items (they may have a wishlist!), volunteering your time, or even spreading the word about the work the food bank does in your community so that others are inspired to help too. Since there are many ways to support a food bank, you can choose the method that works best for you.
Ringwood and Gloucester Foodbanks
Ringwood and Gloucester Foodbanks are both part of a network of food banks that span the UK. The Trussell Trust, which supports the food bank network, provides resources to churches and communities within the UK to open their own food banks. Gloucester Foodbank opened in 2005 and gave out 7,269 three-day emergency food supplies last year. Ringwood Foodbank opened in 2013 and fed 1,999 people last year, including 710 children.
Both Ringwood and Gloucester operate as crisis food banks. People who are experiencing a food insecurity crisis are referred by professionals who partner with the food bank. These professionals, including doctors, social workers, and police, hand out food bank vouchers to those in need. These vouchers can then be redeemed at the food bank for a three-day emergency supply of food. Foodbank workers take the time to meet with recipients (usually over a free meal or warm drink) and refer them to other organizations that can use longer-term tools to address the problem(s) that contributed to a hunger crisis.
Lending a Hand
UK South and ROI Regional Representative Jade Wardle reached out to both Ringwood and Gloucester Foodbanks to ask about their most needed foods. Based on their responses, she formed a shopping list for each food bank and got to work. Because of your generosity during Endure4Kindness 2018, Random Acts was able to donate more than 400 items to each food bank! To put that into perspective, the 215 kg of food donated to Ringwood Foodbank alone will feed 20 people three meals a day for three days. How awesome is that?