A local charity, run by local volunteers, for local people in crisis.
Haywards Heath Foodbank is part of the national Christian Charity called The Trussell Trust and it opened its doors in April 2012. The charity was formed to stop UK hunger and poverty and by working with local communities, they are able to evoke positive changes in households across Britain. In the past four years the number of foodbanks has grown rapidly, with more than four hundred and thirty opening across the United Kingdom!
Haywards Heath Foodbank provides emergency food and support for local people in hardship, distress and need. Since opening, we have collected forty one tons of non-perishable food and distributed over thirty nine tons to more than four thousand, five hundred clients living Haywards Heath and surrounding villages and nearly half of them have been children.
In a typical week, ten clients will exchange food vouchers provided by front line professional carers for three days’ worth of emergency food supplies at the foodbanks Distribution Centre in Sussex Road, supporting about thirty family members weekly.
The reasons why people seek help from the foodbank are varied, but it is normally due to benefit delays and changes. Unfortunately, people who earn less than the living wage, or who have low fixed incomes are similarly affected and many have to choose between buying food or paying an electricity bill, a choice between going hungry or risking the electricity being cut off.
Frontline care professionals, statutory agencies and charities are among the many referral agencies which issue Foodbank vouchers to people who are struggling to put food on the table. These vouchers are exchanged at the Distribution Centre for a three day supply of nutritionally balanced food, which make up approximately nine meals in total.
Nonperishable food is donated by members of the public during organized volunteer collections at local supermarkets, Churches, local businesses, schools and community activity centres. Chain supermarkets like The Co-Op and Sainsbury’s are among these companies that donate food to make a positive difference to the community.
The food is then collected and is taken to a warehouse where it is sorted into food group categories. It is checked to make sure it is well within its best before date and the volunteers will then transport it to the Distribution Centre on Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, where it will be packed, ready for collection by families, couples, single parents and other individuals in need. The Distribution Centre is a welcoming environment, offering a quiet haven in a café setting with volunteers enthusiastic to listen and offer support when needed.
A Haywards Heath foodbank spokesman said: ‘We are constantly surprised by the fantastic and continuing generosity of our community who give time, food and money donations to ensure our sustainability. We cannot thank them enough!
If you would like to donate please go to our website www.haywardsheath.foodbank.co.uk and simply click on the ‘donate’ button, or send contributions to us at 9, Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4DZ. Or alternatively, you can email email@example.com
By Georgia Lambert