A FOOD BANK IN OTLEY

 

 From the minutes of CTO meeting of the 19th March 2013

In the last few months the members of Churches Together in Otley have become aware of a growing need for a FOOD BANK Otley.

All seven Churches recognise a growing need in Otley and local area

This has been discussed by a small team and by the meeting as a whole. As a result John Casey of Leeds Food Bank was invited to speak to us.

 At the CTO meeting of the 19th March 2013, John Casey introduced the subject of Food Bank based on his experience

.How it works in Leeds:-

  • Food comes from Supermarket Shoppers generosity – and from cash collected from businesses, schools, churches etc
  • Stored in small warehouse – double garage size
  • Organised into food parcels enough for 3 days for a family
  • Distributed through an outlet on certain days of the week from a suitable place – church hall – community centre –
  • Security – voucher system – done through those responsible people in the community in contact with those in need – and give vouchers to the responsible to hand to those in need. The vouchers are then used to claim a food package.
  • Some food banks offer either coffee or a meal, but definitely someone to talk to those in need. So what we are offering is of a spiritual dimension as well as practical
  • Startup costs about  £700 + rent if necessary
  • Volunteers needed
  • Monitoring needed
  • Three strikes per year Families in need can have three parcels a year.
  • Sell by dates – Do not give away food beyond sell by date –
  • Food bank can consider distributing hygiene products and clothes
  • Managing supply and demand is a real challenge – start slowly – Voucher system help control this.
  • Difficult to access need so good communications with the frontline workers are important.
  • It was felt by the meeting the need is going to grow.
  • Strong team needed to hand out the various tasks associated with the project. There is a need for a project manager to ensure that all the red tape is dealt with and to get the process going.

 Leeds experience

  • Started in April 2012 with a project team for 3 months – Decided on the Trussel Trust as a basis – decided on two areas – East Leeds and West Leeds – created teams to sort premise, volunteers etc – Tied with St Georges Crypt who seconded a project manager for Leeds West – Armley.
    Leeds East advertised for volunteer Project manager and got applicants. Likewise volunteer for Project manager  for Leeds North. So no project manager is directly employed. Group in Leeds South started Belle Isle.
    Help from Commerce offered.

Issues of Governance. –

Either each Bank is separate or run under a Leeds Umbrella Charity

Leeds decided to run under an Umbrella Charity.

Benefits –

Mutual support

Communication

So a Board of Trustees is now being formed.

Other Centres being planned in Leeds.

The suggestion is that Otley would be welcomed under this umbrella.  

Potential volunteers would be welcome in Leeds for training.

  • Margaret Nelson – A Trussel Trust worker will come and help and talk to a project group.
  • Meeting in one month –Advertised in and local paper
  • 3 Core members volunteered to start with.

 John Casey offered to come to 1st public meeting which is to be on

7.30pm  at Salvation Army on  29th April 2013 to see if more interest and help is available in Otley. If anyone interested is unable to get to meeting they can let us know through Wes Kennedy or Raoul Guise.

 It would seem that if the various volunteers that are needed are available, Otley will be able to run a food bank for the town, working independently but under the umbrella of the Leeds structure. This structure would insure good communications and that we get administrative support. By being independent we will be able to respond quickly to the needs as they occur in Otley. We are grateful to those that are committed to seeing the project get started and hope that the public meeting on the 29th April 2013 will bring interest and support.

 20th March 2013