‘We have seen an increase in demand for our services’: Aylesbury Foodbank marks one year since its founding

Aylesbury food bank, based at the Space Business Centre - pictured l-r are trustee Simon Weaver, volunteers Heather and Jan Cottman and foodbank manager Heather-Joy Garrett
Aylesbury food bank, based at the Space Business Centre - pictured l-r are trustee Simon Weaver, volunteers Heather and Jan Cottman and foodbank manager Heather-Joy Garrett

A foodbank in Aylesbury says it has seen a big increase in demand since it started up just over a year ago.

The Aylesbury Foodbank is one of a network across the country supported by the Trussell Trust.

It opened its doors on April 11 2016, after a Bucks County Council report the previous year determined there was a demand for such a facility.

Food is labelled, stacked and packed at the foodbank’s warehouse in Smeaton Close.

Manager Heather-Joy Garrett said: “The foodbank is better known now so there is an increase in demand for our services.

“We had twice as many people in the second half of last year as the first.

“Although we have enough volunteers to keep going we are always in need of more.”

Volunteers collect the food from the drop-off points before taking it to the warehouse where it is labelled and organised before it is taken to the shops and cafes that serve it.

Speaking last week, Ms Garrett said: “This morning (Wednesday) we collected 35 kilos from St Mary’s Church.

“Yesterday we collected nearly 90 kilos in boxes which weighed between seven and 30 kilos.”

Food parcels typically consist of tinned foods such as beans, meat, vegetables and fruit plus cereal, soup, tea or coffee and biscuits.

Currently the Aylesbury Foodbank has plenty of beans, sugar, dried pasta and breakfast cereal but they urgently require fruit juice, milk and tinned fruit.

Food can be dropped off at either Waitrose on Exchange Street during regular shopping hours, St Mary’s Church between 10am and 2.30pm every day and at Holy Trinity Church in Walton Street between 10am and 2pm Tuesday to Friday or between 9am and 12noon on Saturdays.

Food is given to those who display a valid foodbank voucher and it can be collected from either More+ on Parton Road between 10am and 12noon on Monday, The Oaks coffee shop in Elm Court between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday, St Peter’s Community Cafe in Coventon Road between 10.30am and 12noon on Thursday and Southcourt Baptist Church from 12noon to 1.30pm on Saturdays.