Kenilworth residents donate over seven tonnes of food to town’s foodbank in 2015

Yvonne Wheeler (Project Manager), Nessa Kerby (Treasurer) and Les Thornton (Store Manager)  outside Jubilee House where the Foodbank will be located. Mhlc-01-08-12 Foodbank aug7 ENGNNL00120120108134647
Yvonne Wheeler (Project Manager), Nessa Kerby (Treasurer) and Les Thornton (Store Manager) outside Jubilee House where the Foodbank will be located. Mhlc-01-08-12 Foodbank aug7 ENGNNL00120120108134647

Residents of Kenilworth donated over seven tonnes of food to Kenilworth Foodbank in 2015 according to new figures, providing food for 181 people during that time.

Over the Christmas period, some of the donated food was organised into hampers and given out to feed 119 people in 27 different families who needed them.

The 7.2 tonnes of food donated generously this year by the people of Kenilworth not only helped our local community but any excess supported the neighbouring food banks.

Yvonne Wheeler, Kenilworth Foodbank project manager

Yvonne Wheeler, the project manager of Kenilworth Foodbank, thought the people of Kenilworth donated very generously over 2015.

She said: “While we aren’t a big food bank we are a life line when people find themselves in an unexpected time of difficulty.

“It’s within our remit to give to other foodbanks as well - we often give any excess food we have to Leamington, Warwick and Coventry if they need it.

“The 7.2 tonnes of food donated generously this year by the people of Kenilworth not only helped our local community but any excess supported the neighbouring food banks.”

Kenilworth Foodbank, which stores its food in the old police cells of Jubilee House in Smalley Place, was opened in August 2012 after a friend of Yvonne’s who ran another foodbank suggested Kenilworth had a genuine need for one.

Since it opened it has received over 26 tonnes of food, enough to feed 1,300 people.

It currently has team of 30 volunteers, who sign a confidentiality agreement before they start to protect the identities of the people who visit. Staff are also trained to give advice to visitors should they want it, and to listen to any problems they might have.

People in need of emergency food can visit the foodbank between noon and 2pm on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Food vouchers, which can be exchanged at the foodbank for a box of non-perishable food, can be given to people at one of 54 different agencies, including places like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Up to three vouchers can be given at any one time depending on how serious the individual’s situation is.

Yvonne added: “In a way I’m pleased when not many people use the foodbank, but I also think it mean we might not be reaching enough people.

“Universal Credit will be coming into effect soon, which could create problems for more people, so we could see a rise in visitors. Benefit delay is one of the biggest reasons why people come to foodbanks.

“People could have their benefits cut and they then can’t pay their bills.

Kenilworth’s foodbank, along with many others across the country, is run by the Trussell Trust, a charity which is working towards ending hunger and poverty in the UK.

Along with benefit delays, the trust cites the price of food and fuel, being made redundant and static incomes as some of the main reasons why more people are being referred to foodbanks to receive emergency food.

A typical foodbank box given to people in need contains three days’ worth of non-perishable foods such as tinned food, pasta, fruit juice, cereals and biscuits.

Anyone wishing to donate food can do so at Jubilee House from 11.15am to noon from Tuesdays and Fridays, or can deposit their food in boxes in several shops in Kenilworth, including in Sainsburys, Waitrose, Simply Fresh and Henry Ison & Sons.