June 2022 Report from Rtn Neale Lucas,(who volunteers at the Church each week): "An update following my shift. Lis (manager) gave me figures for June: 694 people were fed".
Information from the Team Meeting:- While Dave still collects food from Tesco Mon pm and goes searching on Tues am, stocks are now an issue. What is now happening is that the entire Parish Larder Stock is being cleaned out each week. They are buying key items each week - UHT milk is becoming a big issue. Local supermarkets are restricting the number of purchases of some items.
They are researching the idea of having experts on pertinent subjects to be available in the hall to advise while customers are waiting.
The Parish Larder/FoodBank continues to be busy, with new faces appearing on a Tuesday when food is dispensed. The team is working hard to source sufficient wholesome food and is just about meeting demand. Efforts are being made to have a team of advisors to help the clients, for example experiencing increasin financial problems. Below is a picture of the Team at St Richards with President Brendan, Past President Martyn, and Treasurer Neale (on the right) juring a recent visit.
May 2022. Some Statistics from the Administrator: In 2021, 4940 individuals were given food. To end of April 2022, 2632 people were fed - an increase of approx. 50% c.f. the first 4 months of 2021.
(The Trussel Trust gives advice on how to obtain help form various agencies. Of late an increase in the need for help/advice with the cost of domestic fuel has been noted.)
May 2022. Some Statistics from Admin.:
In 2021, 4940 were given food.
To end of April 2022, 2632 people were fed - an increase of approx. 50%.
(Demand increasing for help with cost of domestic fuel.)
4th April 2022
Mon, 4 Apr 2022 at 10:37. Mr President writes:
Yesterday afternoon I was able to represent the Club at St Richard's Church for the service of giving thanks and taking action.There was about 30 people there and Lis and Sandra spoke about the Food Bank/Parish Larder - it's beginnings and how the various communities and volunteers have responded to the increase in support that has been required. Rotary did get a mention.I spoke briefly to Lis afterwards and she sends her Best Wishes to all.The congregants were asked in The Order of Service to commit to pledge, amongst other things, to donate food time or finance.
29th March 2022
We continue to support the initiative week to week. One of Our members attends as a volunteer each Tuesday to help to distribute food etc., and members visit to donate foodstuffs and other supplies as available.
Today, Secretary Brendan and Past-President Ken visited to deliver 100 Easter Eggs so that the children will have a treat over the Easter Holidays. The Pictures show the consignment and Past President Ken wishing he was a kid again.
The Foodbank is busier than ever following the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, the fanancial situation and employment problems. We will continue to support as and when we can.
21st December 2021
Rotarian Neale reports: The "Cafe" was flasks of hot water (DIY hot drink) & mince pies rather than toast. This was the busiest day I have witnessed so far. Lis started 15 mins. early as the queue waiting was so large.
Lis has just advised we fed 187 people with 60 referrals.This is a record.She again thanks us for our kindness and support, confirming that we have found a suitable partner organisation where our efforts really make a difference to peoples lives.
9th November 2021
A ROTARIAN VOLUNTEER AT SEACROFT FOOD BANK
Having been involved at arm’s length through the Rotary Club's involvement for the best part of 2 years, an opportunity arose for me to find out at first hand how the Charity operates. Covid shut down the Church's Café facility and the Food Bank had to operate half in & half out of the Crypt, with users having to queue down the path in the open air. The Church now has a new lady rector and restrictions on churches are being relaxed. Their PCC agreed recently to re-open the Café and to use more of the church for the Food Bank operation, to enable users to be inside while waiting to be processed. This increased the number of volunteers required to run the operation, so I volunteered to lend a hand! There is a world of difference between sending money, dropping off food etc and supporting the Food Bank users directly, face to face.
It was with some trepidation that I reported for duty at 09-30 in the morning. It started well with my being offered a cup of Tea and a Bacon Sandwich. I was then tasked with carrying upstairs boxes of Potatoes, given the night before by Tesco. Potatoes are heavy! For those unfamiliar with St.Richard's, it is built on a slope creating a Ground floor at the top of the hill and a crypt at the bottom of the hill. The Ground floor has been split into 2 with a normal church in one half and a Hall in the other half. A staircase runs down the side of the church to the crypt. Beyond the Hall is a small kitchen. The new plan was to ask users to enter using the church hall entrance, be given a number tally, receive a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of Toast. Then take a seat at tables in the Hall until their number was called. They would then be processed by the Food Bank's manager, Lis, and escorted down the staircase to the Crypt to receive their food.
After doing the grunt work, my job was to meet users at the entrance, give them a number, explain the new process and invite them to get their tea & toast and show them into the hall. What could possibly go wrong?
The two ladies running the Hall Café opened the door at about 11-30am. There was a queue of about 10 people to start with. I gave my numbers out (Numbers 1-30 in Total) explained the set up and got them seated in the Hall. By 11-45am more came in and we ran out of seats & tables in the Hall, no sign of Lis. Went downstairs to find her. She explained the Food Bank opened at 12-30 pm to coordinate with other Food Banks in Leeds. She cannot access The Trussell Trust's website on her iPad till 12-20pm. I had to go back, find more tables & chairs and advise everyone in the Hall they had a wait of at least half an hour, offered more tea & toast. No.4 said he had another appointment at 12.00 noon, so he gave me back his number and said he would come back later (I asked myself: Would he loose his place? Do I give him another number when he comes back?)
Food Bank opened at 12:30pm, nearly out of numbers to hand out. I had numbers 28, 29, 30, and No.1 left. I put them down to get some more back from Liz, and when I came back 1 & 30 had been issued leaving tally's 28 & 29 left, plus 2,3, and 5 which I had just brought back. (Do I put 28 & 29 to the back of the queue? This came back to bite me later when after dealing with 27, Lis shouted 28 in the Hall, and receiving no reply, she shouted 29. No reply too, panic! I had to explain!!)
The users came in all shapes & sizes. They were in the main relaxed about the new system once it started to move. Several started to explain their situation to me when I met them at the door. I was not prepared for that, but I was able to reassure them that that we had a policy of turning no one away. Several took the numbers and went back out of the door to return later.
My Worst Moment: A man came with a huge dog and asked if he come in with it? I asked him to wait outside while I went and asked Lis. She responded: 'no dogs'. I had to go and tell him that unfortunately the dog could not come in. A lady already in the hall had a chat with Liz and came rushing out to call him back. Liz agreed if he took a number and waited outside she would come out to him when it was his turn, so that he would not miss out.
How do I feel today & what have I learned?
- You cannot define people from a single glance.
- It is hard to gain empathy when your life is so different.
- Rotary is making an enormous difference to local people’s lives.
- Helping is good for all the people involved.
9 th November 2021.
7th November 2021 - Update and bulb planting
Lis from the Food Bank reports (4/11/21): Our stats for October - 408 people fed and 155 takeaway meals handed out. With effect from this Saturday we are inviting customers inside to sit and eat the meal / or take meal away with them. In a safe way and with a limit on numbers inside. Also re Food Bank from Tuesday, 9th November we are inviting customers inside again in a safe way. We shall be having them enter by the Church hall door (from 11.30am), have a cup of tea/coffee and toast while they wait until we open about 12 30, and then will be guided downstairs through the church to the crypt to collect their food and then exit via the crypt door. The crypt entrance is still openfor deliveries and donations.
Lis also reported: Re - the crocuses. This coming Friday, 5th November from about 10.30am, children from Bishop Young Academy are coming to the crypt to deliver their harvest donations and to plant some crocuses. I understand that some members of Climate Action Seacroft may also be coming to plant some crocuses too. Here is a picture of some of the children starting to plant the bulbs, and a screenshot of the entry on the Twitter account of Bishop Young CoE Academy showing the visit to the Food Bank and the planting of bulbs by the students of the Academy - thanks guys!.
16th October 2021 Croccus bulbs for Church Grounds
On Tuesday of this week, Tresurer Neale delivered a box of 5000 purple crocus corms, bought by the Club to support Rotary's Polio Plus Programme, to the staff of the food bank and the Rector of St Richards church. The idea is to involve the young people in planting the bulbs so that everyone will enjoy a splash of spring colour when they flower, and to remind everyone of Rotary's support for the food bank.
Sadly, the food bank is as busy as ever, providing meals, take-aways as well as food items, but the good news is that it is receiving regular support from a number of sources, and they are reasonably stocked at present. The fridge we gave them money for is well used. They have also benefited from produce given by local churches following their 'Harvest Festival' services. We continue to offer our support in money and kind as we can and as they request.
24/8/2021.Here are the figures for the number of people helped in August:
August totals: 460 people given food. 105 Take Away Meals provided.
Tuesday 27th July 2021
Brendan & Neale
Thursday 22nd July 2021
Friday 1st July 2021
One of the first tasks our new President undertook was to invite our Local City Councillor, David Jenkins, to give a talk to our Club. Here is his (verbatim) reply:
Thank you and thank you and to your members for the fantastic support you continue to give to the Food Bank at St Richards. I am happy to speak – I think later in July would be better…Can I suggest the 15th or 22nd July and I will pencil you in!!
Fri. 11th June 2021
Here is the latest update from the St. Richard's Food Bank manager, Lis, following our latest monetary donation. Our Treasurer, Neale, asked for some details in order to report to our AGM and Club Assembly. This is what she wrote:
Many thanks, again, Neale for your Club’s most generous, donations. Our statistics for May as follows: 290 people fed and 179 Saturday night meals given out.
We were closed on 4th May to give volunteers, a break.
Recent stories - we have been helping a family Mum and her 3 children. She had been subjected to domestic abuse. Her father is helping her. Also, last week a family turned up 2,adults and 2 children. They were ashamed to come to a foodbank, but both parents (Business Analysts) had been made redundant due to Pandemic.
We are having quite a new clients coming for help and a few referrals coming from local schools. Parents asking for help.
I hope these cases will be of use to you for your report and that your AGM goes well.
Sincere thanks and best wishes,
P.S. We are still giving out the Washing Powder the Rotary Club provided which is much appreciated by all.
Tues. 25th May 2021
Another delivery of food by 4 of our members. We received another pallet stacked high with food (and other items) from Giving World yesterday. The consignment consisted of Bags of Tortilla Chips (different flavours), Oatcakes, Jars of Pasta Sauce, and Packets of Hot Chocolate drink. There were two smaller boxes with drinking mugs, plastic wine glasses, table napkins, pen and stamp kits, colouring pencils, summer scribbles sets etc (the latter for little gifts for the children). The good filled the boots of 3 cars and one estate car boot! Naturally Lis and her co-workers were delighted to receive this shipment, especially since it was a slightly out of the ordinary food donation for the Bank and will be appreciated by the recipients as a bit of a change.
We are greatly indepted to for this donation as with the others in the past year. So far they have sent us over £4400's worth of good FOR FREE!! Thank you so much Giving World (in Leicester).
9th March 2021: Eggs for Easter
Treasurer Neale reports: Accompanied Past-president Ken, who has been egg shopping, to the Food Bank today. Got there a bit early and was able to help some old folk from Garforth Church unload their collected food. They had collected free, out of date, fruit & veg from Tesco in Seacroft on Monday evening. Picture is of Ken & Lis.
22nd February 2021: News from the Foodbank: We continue to be very busy. In January we fed a total of 421 people. (336 adults and 85 children). 151 takeaway meals were handed out - despite the cold and snow people still queued up for a hot meal.
The following picture shows President Ken in the crypt, handing over the cheque for the £500 to the staff of the food bank. (Obligatory face mask and social distancing!)
Further delivery from Giving World to Neale’s home: The Pallet contained:- 11 Doz. Bottles of BBQ Sauce, 14 x 20 Boxes Flat Breads, 2 Boxes Mini Crackers, 50 x 1 Ltr. Bottles of juice, 2 Boxes Baby Wipes, 1 Box of 50 Face Masks, 1 Box Tea Towels, 1 Box Shopping Bags, 2 Boxes x 24 Tissues. Neale writes: I am pleased to say that my wife and I managed to deliver nearly all the mound of food, so graciously given by Giving World to the Bank. Lis collected the boxes of Doritos. On behalf of Lis I would advise you that they were thrilled to receive so much stuff in one go "It was just like Christmas". We are blessed to have found and connected a worthy charity with a worthy cause - this is Service above Self. I know you are all hoping to join in as we continue our support during the rest of President Tony's year. I have discussed with Lis some short term changes while this pandemic is at its height. She is going to provide us with a list of food stuff they regularly run short of. She is also going to provide statistics on their activities.
19th January: Lis wrote: Hi Neale, Thanks again for your recent delivery - good job we didn't leave it until Thursday - the dreaded snow arrived. Some interesting figures for you: Since the start of the Pandemic we have fed approx. 2400 people. In December alone we fed approx. 620 people and handed out approx. 130 extra Christmas food bags to families. On the Saturday before Christmas we handed out 56 x 2 course Christmas dinner takeaway meals. Starting this January I will send you figures at each month end. We would be grateful for any of the following items - UHT Semi skimmed milk, tinned meat, tinned tuna, tinned fruit, tinned rice pudding, tinned carrots, tinned peas, (no sweetcorn thanks), Tea bags. Tinned potatoes or packet instant mash. We are ok for beans and soup, Lis.
This is the reply we received from the foodbank when we wished them a Happy New Year and to enquire if they needed more supplies:
12 x 360g Family Circle Biscuits
48 x small tins of Mandarin Oranges
12 x Tins of Fruit Cocktail
12 x Tins Carnation Evap. Milk
36 x 50g Big Hoops Bags
32 x 20g. Quavers
12 x 1 Ltr. Whole UHT
12 x 1 Ltr. Semi UHT
4Kg Tub Party Treats
20 x 80g Mini rainbow twists
180 x Traffic Light Lollies
32 x Santa Selection Boxes
12 x 392g tin of Chicken in White Sauce
4 lots of various sizes of Foil Trays & Lids (Saturday Take-Away Service)
These items were supplied free of charge (we paid transport costs only!) by a marvellous organisation called "Giving World" whose motto is 'Nothing to waste - No one in need'.
The picture shows our members delivering to the Food Bank staff, the second picture shows the boxes:
On Monday morning (24th) President Tony and myself visited the Food Bank. Tony presented the PPE Face Masks bought by the Club and also the Masks he donated himself.
Lis Bows thanked us on behalf of the Food Bank and explained how our previous gift had been more than welcome. She tearfully talked about how hard it had become to operate. All referral agencies are shut and certainly many of the needy have neither a computer or IT skills to operate one. The Community Cafe attached to St. Richard's had been a shelter where people could come for a chat or to discuss issues. Most Food was given by local churches but as they are all shut that supply line is much reduced. They now issue warm food on Saturdays in take away boxes, but the boxes are now an additional expense.
Previously, they collected and gave away Toys in December last year and the Chef came in on Christmas Day and cooked a Dinner. Currently, they support about 50 people each Tuesday and a further 50 on a Saturday. As well as food they give cleaning products, toiletries and other ladies requirements.
'What We Do' Main Pages:
Club's involvement with local schools - help with reading. Here are two accounts by our members who help with the scheme:more