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PACT Food Bank

The PACT Food Store was adopted as the Petersfield Post's Christmas Campaign 2012. Below we reproduce articles and photographs from the Petersfield Post and comments by Brian Edwards, Food Bank Manager.

5 December: From the Petersfield Post - Stunning response to Food Bank Plea

The people of Petersfield have given the town's Food bank their overwhelming support thanks to the launch of the Post's Christmas campaign.

Volunteers for the service, which provides emergency food supplies to those in need in the town and surrounding areas, collected an astonishing 24 trolleys full of goods donated by shoppers at the waitrose store in Rams Walk on saturday 24 November and Saturday 1 December.

Food Bank manager Brian Edwards said that the response to the Post's campaign and the two Saturday collections outside Waitrose had been wonderful.

He added: "The amount of goods we have received which we can use in the Food Bank to help people has been brilliant. I have been astonished by the response - I didn't realise so many people in the town had got to hear about us. But not only that, they turned out on the Saturdays to make donations even though the weather was appalling. I have to say a big thank you to the volunteers who helped out on both days and to Waitrose for letting us run the collections outside their store."

Petersfield Food Bank is run by PACT - Petersfield Area Churches Together and since it was started in September 2010 it has helped around 800 people thanks to 200 hand outs of food. Brian is keen to see more people benefit from the service who really need help but might be too proud to ask for help.

The following organisations can put people forward who need help and support:

  • PACT Churches
  • Winton House
  • Citizens' Advice
  • Home Start Butser
  • The Salvation Army
  • Radian
  • Sure Start
  • Tree Tops Children's Centre

If you know anyone who could benefit from the Food bank you can contact one of the organisations above. For more information go to the Salvation Army hall in Swan Street, Petersfield and week day between 9:00 am and 11:30 am.

Donations of non-perishable goods are still being collected for the petersfield Food Bank: the current collection point is the office of the Petersfield Post at 33 High Street, Petersfield.

The editor, Graeme Moir said: "I am delighted the campaign has been a success so for and I hope people keep giving and put forward people who could benefit from this valuable service.

Reproduced, with kind permission, from the Petersfield Post, 5 December

3 December: Report on the collections outside Waitrose

The collections outside Waitrose, in Ram's Walk, on Saturday 24 November and Saturday 1 December were a great success with outstanding generosity being shown by the Waitrose customers (my rough count for the two days was around 24 trolleys of food). My thanks, on behalf of the people who will benefit from this show of caring for your fellow man.

My grateful thanks to the many volunteers who gave so generously of their time. The first Saturday it did not stop raining all day and the second Saturday was very cold. Thanks must be given to the duty managers who took pity on us and allowed us to stand inside the foyer instead of outside where we should have been.

The anticipated rise in demand has started to materialise. 26 issues have been made since 25 October with 66 people receiving food. Thanks must be given to the many generous people who have donated to the bank via churches or direct to the Salvation Army Hall in addition to the Waitrose collections.

Bless you, Brian

Photographs: some of the donated food assembled in The salvation Army hall, Swan Street, Petersfield.

21 November - The Petersfield Post: Charity begins at home with our new campaign

The old saying goes charity begins at home - and that's the focus of the Post's 2012 Christmas campaign.

This year we will be urging readers to support people in our own communities by asking people to donate to East Hampshire Food Banks.

To some, the idea that people are so hard up in a district which has many of the highest house prices in the south that they need food handouts, and that food banks even exist, is shocking.

But as we launch our Christmas campaign today, the evidence is that plenty of people across our community need our support, especially with the Christmas period just around the corner. Since the Petersfield Food Bank was set up in September 2010 almost 800 people have benefited from more than 200 hand outs of food.

The town's Food Bank initiative is run by Petersfield Area Churches Together and is based at the Salvation Army's hall in Swan Street.

Brian Edwards, Manager of the Petersfield Food BankFood Bank manager Brian Edwards (left) told the Post that it is key that readers take on two messages from the campaign.

He said: "No one is immune from the possibility of having to use a food bank to get by at some point in their life. Who knows when you could lose your job or your health suddenly deteriorates. This country is going through some tough times at the moment and you get the feeling that it is only going to get worse next year.

"The churches have done well to ensure that we receive regular supplies of non-perishable foods through donations they receive - and we will welcome any donation from the public in the coming weeks.

But I also want to people to come forward who could benefit from this service - I want to make sure that we are helping as many people as possible."

Donations of non-perishable goods can be make at the Petersfield Post's office at 33 High Street, Petersfield, and on Saturday 24 November and Saturday 1 December Food Bank volunteers will be collecting donations outside Waitrose in Rams walk between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm - see below and next week's Post for more details of the campaign.

If you would like to receive emails about the work of the PACT Food Bank please subscribe to the email group

Reproduced, with kind permission, from the Petersfield Post, 21 November

October 2012: From The Petersfield Post

The number of people seeking help at local food banks is climbing, revealling that even those in work are now struggling to make ends meet.

A piece of intense 'snapshot' research by Community Action Hampshire has shown that more low income working families are turning to food banks for help. A survey spokesman said: "Many are working, but have had cuts in hours, or had to take on part-time jobs instead of full-time employment."

Petersfield Food Bank manager Brian Edwards said the survey was an accurate reflection of those collecting food from the Salvation Army Hall in Swan Street.

He said: "The last couple of months have been busier than expected. We have all ages from all walks of life coming to us for food, including those working but on low incomes."

Mr Edwards said that those who had worked heard all their lives didn't expect to need help just to eat in their retirement.

He said: "What worries me most is how many people we can't reach, how many are too proud to come for help. We are here for everyone, so please come and see us if you need help. (see: Getting Items from the Food Bank, below).

Reverend Deborah Scott-Bromley of St Mark's Church in the Forest Centre in Borden said that since May 68 children and 80 adults, some of them desperately low paid working parents, have been helped.

She said: "Some are on low salaries or benefits and a small number live rough in the woods around Borden."

Both she and Mr Edwards endorse other finding in the survey which reveal a huge increase in Hampshire food banks users recently. It says that hardship is often masked by overall affluence and broad-brush statistics which don't show the hardship faced by some families. And far from milking the system, one manager said that they have trouble convincing those in need to come back as "they don't want to take too much."

Reverend Deborah Scott-Bromley and Mr Edwards thanked the generosity of the donators but said that more long-life food would be welcome. Donations can be made to St Mark's in Borden or The Salvation Army Hall in Swan Street, Petersfield (see: Donating to the Food Bank, below).

To see the full Community Action Hampshire report click on the link: Food Banks in Hampshire

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