Friday, 23 September 2011

What a great day we had yesterday! Started off with a lovely assembly at St Mary's School, Wavendon who sang me two songs - fantastic!

Then met with Rev. David Lunn from St Mary's Church, Wavendon who gave us a lovely harvest donation. David is also a representative of Broughton Ecclesiastical who generously awarded The Food Bank a cheque for £2000 to support our work - how amazing is that!

In the afternoon I met with Asda's community representative Adele Johnson to discuss how they could support our work. Adele was very interested in what we do and was keen to help. As such, we will be getting a trolley in their store in a prominent position, all signed up to accept Food Bank donations - this will go in next Thursday 29th as a trial run with the aim that it may become a permanent fixture!

This is exactly what we have been hoping to achieve for so long and I am very grateful to Asda for being the first to give it a try!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Harvest has begun!

This year Harvest Festival seems to be starting early and we have already had our first Harvest donations in, which is great news as our stocks were getting very low!

Harvest is a great time for The Food Bank as it gives us a great platform to encourage people to think about donating food. We have many regular supporters in both schools and Churches who have been collecting on our behalf for many years, however we are pleased to see some new groups coming on board and we love the chance of going out to meet them and of sharing a little about our work.

Our diary is filling up rapidly and we already have bookings for 14 school assemblies, 5 Church services and 7 Community Room bookings which is really exciting!

I have already done my first assembly at Orchard School in Springfield and have another tomorrow at St Mary's School in Wavendon which is always lovely as they sing some wonderful harvest songs!

I love this time of year as whilst our feet don't touch the ground, we do get the chance to touch peoples hearts and let them realise how easy it is for them to make a difference to a local family in crisis - just by giving one tin.....

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Winslow Weekend!

Last weekend was definitely a Winslow Weekend!

On Saturday afternoon we had a group of young people from Winslow Vineyard Church come to our warehouse to participate in our Community Room programme.

The 90 minute programme, which has been enjoyed by many schools and youth groups over the last 12 months, gives the youngsters some hands on experience of the work of The Food Bank from sorting food donations to making up food parcels to go out to local families. The sessions ends with a short DVD and a Q&A session with each person being given a "You've made a Difference" certificate

In the evening, the Winslow Churches Together held a Food Bank Supper with a talk from Helen Dray, one of our most experienced volunteers. The evening was very well supported with 40 people coming along and enjoying a supper made from the same food that goes in our food parcels whilst listening to a very informative talk about the work of The Food Bank in our community.

The evening was primarily a social gathering and celebration of the faithful support that this group of Churches gives to The Food Bank - but amazingly they also raised a massive £273 to support our work!

It is just amazing the different ways that people can support our work, have great fun and raise some money too. A massive thank you to all those in the kitchen who did such a great job feeding everyone and to Helen for a very heartfelt talk.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Last week has been a very blessed week with some great donations coming in of both food and finance.

On Monday we had a wonderful surprise when two of our faithful supporters, Mike & Carolyn, came in with a generous financial donation and some food donations, received instead of gifts to celebrate their Ruby Wedding Anniversary. What an amazingly selfless gesture and one that is truly appreciated.

On Monday evening we hosted a group of young people from the Granby Mosque who brought in their food donations collected throughout Ramadan. They helped us to sort the food and get it on the shelves which everyone enjoyed doing - this was the second year they have collected for us.

Tuesday saw another of our regular supporters - Tish, bring in funds raised at a recent jewellery party that she had arranged to support The Food Bank. This fun event raised over £300!

On Friday, Mercedes held a clothing collection for us at their offices in Tongwell and Caldecott which was a great success. Collecting clothing and household textiles is another of the many ways in which we are looking to generate funds from items which people no longer require.

You may also remember that Alanna and a team from Mercedes were hoping to do a sponsored parachute jump to raise funds to support our work, however it had been postponed a number of times due to weather conditions. On Friday, Alanna advised me that the company they were planning to jump with had gone out of business! Alanna then went on to say that many of her sponsors were still happy to give their sponsorship money despite the jump not having taken place and Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd were still willing to give £500 to top up the kitty - so I left on Friday with £610 and tears in my eyes - aren't people great!

When you see the rate that the need is rising - 4754 food parcels already this year - 78% up on last year - you will begin to understand how important donations of both food and fund are to ensure we can continue to serve our community.

Harvest festival is an important time for The Food Bank as many schools and Churches will be celebrating this time by collecting tinned, dried and longlife food to support us. This year it seems to be starting early and our diary is already full of school assemblies and talks at Harvest Services which is great news - so we are hoping for a bumper harvest!

Well that's a summary of last week - I look forward to Clive coming back from holiday as we missed him in the warehouse this week - thanks go to Paul and Sean for standing in and helping with the driving on our serving days.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

An exciting few days!

Last Friday 2nd September, The Food Bank in partnership with Jesus Celebration Centre, opened its 5th serving centre in Milton Keynes!

Working out of the JCC building at Lloyds Court in CMK, the new centre will provide a collection point for clients to redeem their Food Bank vouchers on a Friday afternoons between 2pm - 4pm.

The other Food Bank Centres are at Milton Keynes Christian Centre in Oldbrook on a Monday and Thursday, CrossLinks on the Lakes Estate on a Tuesday and Friday, New Life Church North at Wolverton Mill South on a Wednesday and St Georges Church, Wolverton Town on a Saturday.

On Saturday, we had a stand at the celebration of arts and culture in Campbell Park which was organised by the Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture Organisation. The event was about building bridges between diverse communities and celebrating the things we have in common. The day was well attended and I met many interesting people and made some useful contacts.

The same evening local group TesTament, held a Music and Message event as a fund raiser for The Food Bank at Christchurch Stantonbury. The guest speakers were from the Christian Motorcycle Association, a very interesting group who use their hobby to spread the word. The evening was well attended and everyone enjoyed some great music, inspirational speaking and excellent refreshments! A big thank you to Mike and the crew for making this possible.

Monday, 21 March 2011

What a fantastic start to the BIG little Give! Last weekend we had a supermarket collection at Woburn Sands Co-op on Saturday and Sunday and collected an amazing 452 items of food! Brian Kirkland - manager of the Co-op has been extremely supportive of The Food Bank, this being the fifth time that we have been invited to have a supermarket collection. A massive THANK YOU to Brian and his great staff and all our volunteers who made the weekend possible.

Sunday afternoon saw four young ladies from Stewkley Methodist Church cooking pancakes for the village - all to support The Food Bank. When we arrived there were at least 60 people enjoying pancakes with a variety of fillings - so well done Ella, Neve, Hannah & Rachel.

Today has also been an amazing day with an interview for BBC Three Counties Radio at 7.15am and Anglia TV at 11.30am! All great publicity opportunities for The Food Bank. The Anglia News item is expected to go out on Wednesday. BBC3CR are also hoping to interview children at one of the schools who are supporting the BIG little Give so watch this space for further updates.

The Food Bank also had the Community Zone stand in Middleton Hall today with the stand being manned by Clive and a succession of volunteers to help out. This was a great opportunity for people to see a display about the work of The Food Bank and to raise awareness. Thanks to all those who took part today - without our great volunteers these events would not be possible!

All together a fantastic start to the BIG little Give!

Friday, 11 March 2011

BIG little Give - One week to go!

I can't believe we are now just one week away from The Food Bank's first BIG little Give!

The name is significant - BIG, because we want everyone to take part - little because we are only asking each person to donate just one tin!

The success of the event has now become absolutely crucial for The Food Bank, as the demand for our service has doubled in the first two months of this year leaving us with desperately low stocks.

Check out the website to see what events are taking place and how you can be part of something BIG!