Tag Archives: Haslemere Food Bank

Update from Haslemere Food Bank including new JustGiving page

Letter Of The Week in this week’s Haslemere Herald gave an update on the Haslemere Food Bank where, over the past few weeks and months, they have seen demand increase massively due to the pandemic. They are so grateful for all your donations which has enabled them to help so many families who are really struggling right now. If you would like to make a donation, you can drop off any time at dedicated collection points in Tesco & Waitrose. Or you can deliver to the Methodist Church Weds/Fri between 10am and 12pm.

There is also a new dedicated JustGiving page where you can give some financial help to Haslemere’s food bank. This will be used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Here is the letter:

Letter of the Week: ‘Food bank plays such a key role in community’

MAY I express the great gratitude of the volunteers who run the Haslemere food bank for the considerable surge in donations for our work since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and the surge in demand for food support which that has brought.

It has been heartwarming to see the faithfulness, thoughtfulness and generosity of the number supporters who have maintained our work over the seven years of our existence and to be aware of the many new supporters in the community who are helping us to continue through this crisis.
Although there was some surprise, when the food bank was inaugurated, that such a thing was needed in Haslemere, from day one there has been a steady stream of people referred to us for help.

It has been gratifying to see the system set up in the beginning has been sufficiently robust to deal with the present demand, which is four or five times greater than ‘normal’.

With the closure of churches, we have lost some of our collection points, but people have been making greater use of the boxes at Tesco and Waitrose and the “outliers” in Chiddingfold and Fernhurst. We remain grateful to all those involved in arranging all this.

We continue to operate through a referral system. We know food poverty is not a standalone issue and is a symptom of other, deeper problems. Our system seeks to ensure people have access to the support they need in other areas of their lives. With the lockdown, we have lost the opportunity to offer hospitality and conversation over coffee, which it will be good to resume when we are free to do so.

While we give out information about other sources of help, the food bank in its present state of busy-ness is not an easy place for people to share. People are referred through the Citizens Advice Bureau, the health centre, 3 Counties Money Advice, children’s schools, churches and various borough and town agencies.

With the pandemic and the extra donations, we have expanded what we are able to offer considerably. Though we usually deal only with ‘dry’ goods, we now have some fresh fruit and vegetables (and have had an amazing fridge donated), frozen ready meals (donated by COOK), feminine hygiene, pet food, books (donated by Haslemere Book Shop), craft resources, etc, donated by a range of thoughtful donors.

The food bank has also had requests from people wishing to volunteer. We regret physical distancing rules means that, in our restricted space, we have not been able to accept all of these.

We have accepted a few who have begun to deliver food packs to people unable to come to the food bank, another new development we have been able to offer, with thanks to those who make this possible.
People will be aware of many other supportive initiatives which have arisen in response to the pandemic. These include Haslemere Help, which has set up its own pop-up community store in Haslemere Hall, run on different principles to the food bank but extending the range of support on offer to those in need.

Unfortunately, there has been some confusion in the town about the role of the two projects. At the moment, donations put on the trolleys which appear around on a Wednesday morning go to the community store. While it is getting into its stride, it has shared a few donated items with the food bank.

We are hoping for a closer working relationship as it develops. Meanwhile, the food bank is able to rely on its well-established collection points.

It gives me no pleasure at all to recall the food bank has been here for seven years. We should not need to have one at all.

Our hopes that the years of austerity would give way to better times for all have been dashed by Covid-19, so it looks like the food bank will need to be here for quite a while yet. As we say ‘thank you’ for all the support received to date, we also ask people continue to support the work the food bank does into a somewhat uncertain future.

By David Rice,
Chair of the management group, Haslemere food bank

PRESS RELEASE: Launch of Haslemere Community Store

PRESS RELEASE – LAUNCH OF HASLEMERE COMMUNITY STORE

A new initiative, the Haslemere Community Store, launches this Thursday May 21st. in Haslemere Hall.

The Community Store is a temporary volunteer-run community project, operating out of Haslemere Hall two mornings each week. It has been set up to help residents that find themselves in need of food and household supplies during the Covid 19 emergency – and is open to anyone also using the Food Bank who has additional need.  The Store will secure some supplies through the FareShare scheme, thereby reducing food waste and provide support in Haslemere and surrounding villages.

Haslemere’s Surrey County Councillor, Nikki Barton has been working in collaboration with Haslemere Hall, Haslemere Community Kitchen, Haslemere Help and the Food Bank, with the support of Haslemere Town Council to launch the store.   

Cllr Barton told the Haslemere Herald:

“The Haslemere Community Store is intended to complement the invaluable work of the Haslemere Food Bank. The Food Bank continues to provide vital support for the vulnerable and those experiencing hardship. I understand there has been a significant increase in referrals to the Food Bank during the Covid-19 crisis. There has also been a surge in donations from Haslemere’s extremely generous residents and local supermarkets.”

The Haslemere Community Store is planning to make an additional collection for donations around the town once a week on behalf of both the Food Bank and the Community Store. Haslemere Help volunteers have been recruited to help run the Store.

About Haslemere Community Store

If you have become unemployed, been furloughed or waiting for Universal Credit, don’t go without. The Haslemere Community Store can help you with a variety of food, toiletries and household products available free of charge to support people living in Haslemere. The Community Store is located at The Haslemere Hall and will be open Mondays & Thursdays (10.30am – 12.30 pm). Strict social distancing will be observed, with no walk-ins. If you need help at this time, book your slot to visit by either calling or texting the helpline 07873 383954 or by emailing haslemerehelp@gmail.com.  

About Haslemere Food Bank

The Haslemere Food Bank provides emergency food support to local individuals and families. It was set up through the collaboration of local Churches, though is now run by a management team and a pool of volunteers representing the whole community. People in need of food support are referred by local agencies as the need arises. If people need help with food, and are in touch with the Health Centre, the Citizens Advice Bureau, 3 Counties Money Advice, their child’s school, local churches, or any of those agencies which work to support people at times of difficulty, just ask to be referred and the Food Bank will help.

Press Enquiries:

Haslemere Town Council, Town Clerk; town.clerk@haslemeretc.org

Surrey County Councillor, Nikki Barton, Nikki.Barton@surreycc.gov.uk

Mr David Rice, Chairman, Haslemere Food Bank dnarice@btinternet.com

Article in The Haslemere Herald: Community store opens its doors in Haslemere

Request For Donations On Behalf Of Haslemere Food Bank

I have received a list of items that is urgently needed by The Haslemere Food Bank.

Donations can be left at either Tesco or Waitrose in Haslemere or at CeeGees in Fernhurst. Or donations can be dropped at the Methodist Church on a Wednesday and Friday morning from 10AM – 12PM.

Please note, the food bank will be open this Bank Holiday Friday for referrals.

Haslemere Food Bank, request for donations.
NON-PERISHABLE FOOD NEEDED DURING THE LOCKDOWN
THE FOOD BANK URGENTLY NEEDS at the moment:
TINNED SOUP – NOT TOMATO SOUP please
TINNED MEAT
TINNED FISH
TINNED VEGETABLES – NOT BAKED BEANS
TINNED TOMATOES
TINNED PASTA
TINNED FRUIT
TEA
COFFEE
JAM & MARMALADE
COUSCOUS
HONEY
BATH SOAP
SHAMPOO
TOOTHPASTE
THANKS TO DONATIONS, THE FOOD BANK HAS BAKED BEANS
THANKS TO DONATIONS, THE FOOD BANK HAS TOMATO SOUP

Request for donations for Haslemere Food Bank

You may be aware that there has been a considerable surge in demand for the Haslemere Food Bank in these last three weeks. You may also be aware that they have had a generous and heart-warming surge in donations, which has been a great help in keeping pace with demand. On their behalf, thanks to all those of you who have helped to continue and indeed increase our work during this time.

Here are items that are needed by the food bank to help Haslemere residents:

And here is information about how you can donate to Haslemere Food Bank: