Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A Great Weekend

Last weekend saw the first Food Bank supermarket collection in Woburn Sands and it was a great success!

Many thanks to Anne Bircham who opened up the disucssions with Brian Kirkland - Manager at the Co-op and of course to Brian and all his team and their customers who made the collection such a success.

None of this would have been possible without the many local volunteers who gave up their time to offer customers one of our shopping lists to encourage them to buy one extra item and to donate on their way out. Altogether, almost 450 items of food were donated, which is a massive help to us at such a busy time.

Talking about busy - yesterday was one of our busiest days with 21 separate families coming to The Food Bank for help in just the one hour that we are open!

We are still learning how many bags to make up and take to MKCC on our serving days and yesterday we underestimated and had to "mix and match" to ensure everyone received their parcels. In fact two families decided to go to CrossLinks today instead, as we would have been unable to provide their full allocation yesterday!

To ensure this does not happen again, Deanna is frantically bagging up food parcels as I am typing - what a great team I have.

Enjoy the sunshine and keep reading.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A busy few days

The Food Bank is fortunate to have so many supporters who make it possible to provide the service we do to our local community.

Last Sunday I was invited to do a talk at Olney Baptist Church in their Sunday service. Their congregation are great supporters of The Food Bank with a collection point in their Church which gets filled to overflowing and is then delivered to our warehouse by Chris & Sue Hanson.

Last week we also received the good news that we were successful in our bid to get £1000 from the Sports Relief funding towards our warehouse set up costs. This is truly great news.

We also had confirmation from G4S that we can park our vehicle in their secure compound overnight and at weekends, which is truly a blessing as it really was too large to keep outside my house!

Today I am off to St Thomas Church at Simpson as their "guest speaker to one of their social groups - it is always great to meet different people and to share our work with them.

Have a great day everyone and keep watching this space!

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A week of lasts & firsts!

Thursday 15th was another first - it was the first time that we had to transport our food parcels from our new warehouse to Milton Keynes Christian Centre for our serving session between 11am & 12 noon.

Sue & Helen had spent the previous day getting settled in to our new home and also bagging up enough food parcels to ensure we would not run out, as we no longer have the luxury of making more bags up on site - everything now has to be transported in and out for each session.

Everyone was at the warehouse by 9.30am and we had loaded "Vicky" (the van) by 10am and were on site at MKCC by 10.15am to unload. We even had time for a quick cuppa before opening the doors to our service users!

We are now using plastic totes to put the made up bags in which does make things easier. One lesson we did learn was not to overload the totes as by the end of the serving session those that had not been given out felt a whole lot heavier than they did at the start of the day!

Considering it was the first time we had done this, it went really well and I am sure we will fine tune things over the next few weeks.

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible and to everyone who supports The Food Bank in any way, whether it be financially, with food donations or time - as without you it would not be possible to serve our community and to make the difference that we do in peoples lives.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Big Move!

Yesterday was The Big Move when The Food Bank finally moved its office and storage facility off site from Milton Keynes Christian Centre to our new warehouse at Stacey Bushes.

Volunteers Claudia & Beth Payne students from Thornton College who are helping with The Food Bank as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme brought the brains, whilst "old" regulars Leon & Arnie (nothing to do with age - honest!) brought the brawn.

We quickly emptied the sea container into "Vicky" our new van, managing to do it in just one trip. What a joy it is to have a large vehicle for our use at any time and one that looks so good.

Team work is a great thing and by 4.30pm all the food that had been brought from the sea container had been sorted, put away in the correct place and also a complete stock check carried out. Not only was a lot achieved in the day but we had a great time doing it - thank you to everyone who took part.

Monday 12th April- our last bagging day in the Sea container

Monday 12th April was a historic day - it was the last day that we will ever make food parcels up in the Sea Container.

Helen did us all proud by bringing in balloons, signs and a very lovely home baked chocolate cake to mark the occasion.

It was certainly a very busy day with food parcels made up for CrossLinks, New Life Church, 10 emergency boxes for the MK Floating Support Team as well as bags for our own serving session.

The sea container has been a real blessing to The Food Bank for the last few years as it has given us the space to operate from and I am very grateful to George Ridley and LightForce International for letting us use their space. However I am sure I speak for all our volunteers when I say that we will not miss it for too long when we move into the fantastic space of our new warehouse!

Watch this space for further updates!