The Food bank .... and so much more

' We aim to help people out of crisis and poverty whether that’s resources, relational or identity and empower clients to enable them to make confident decisions and responses to future challenges they may face.'

A few weeks ago my youngest and I had a chance to visit our local food bank with some other children who are home educated. The food bank is run as part of the Barnabas community project based in Coleham, Shrewsbury. We were warmly welcomed by Karen who answered any questions we had, before she gave us the tour.
The Food bank is run by a group of volunteers who help process and distribute wherever its needed , and its needed more and more. I was surprised by how much more than just food the centre deals with  (which is why its technically known as foodbank plus) . The main room processes food and grocery items, all of which have to be individually dated in permanent marker when they come in. Food banks are of course grateful for all donations but a constantly updated list of their needed items is available on the website or facebook page .
In addition to food the centre takes in donations of Clothing, only in immaculate condition. The clothes are often supplied to those who may be in need for job interviews, the emphasis being on helping people forwards in their journey, its more than a 'hand out' . The people receiving food and care parcels differ greatly (all must be referred by the appropriate organisation ) from those who may be struggling short term due to something like an unexpected repair or bill, to someone who may  have suddenly found themselves unemployed .
Food bank also put together baby parcels ( as photographed above) good quality books , housewares and seasonal items at Christmas and Easter etc . 
The 'Plus' part of the charity includes additional projects such as 360 journey to work which encourages and helps people hoping to gain employment. Whilst Barnabus money advice offers free advice on managing money and debt. 
Alongside this they run the Journey to health including two projects : The cookery course and 360 back garden which includes gardening and woodwork skills ( the idea being that items grown in the garden will then also be used in the food bank ) .
I have to admit I was incredibly impressed and had no idea how much the foodbank can offer, its actually going above and beyond and ensuring that people are able to help themselves and offering them a great deal of support.
For more information please visit the website at or email at .


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