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Annual Report for the PACT Food Bank 2017

This has been the second year of the Food Bank operating with a group of volunteers which now total 45 and a small steering group of eight. It has been a year whereby we felt able to build on the experiences gained during 2016 and to make any changes where required.

Our storage base remains within the Methodist Church, and we are extremely grateful for their hospitality and patience, particularly during periods of larger deliveries of food donations such as the Harvest Festival and Christmas periods. This can mean a slight overflow of food from the store for a short while until it can be processed and sorted.

Distribution on a Tuesday and Friday morning between 9.30 – 11.30am is staffed by at least two volunteers, and continues at the Salvation Army Hall. Our continuing thanks go to Captain Linda Read and her team for accommodating both us and our food packs, and for the cups of tea or coffee which are offered to everyone attending the foodbank.   They also act as an emergency point of issue when the need arises.

Figures for 2017 illustrate why there is still a need in the town for such a project.

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Number of food issues  139  207    249 234 131*    189  206
Number of people helped  418 487  542  566  331*  502   448

*These figures cover a nine-month period only.

We now have 40 agencies who can refer into the foodbank.   During 2017 four of the  agencies based in Petersfield have closed and moved to offices outside the town, and three new agencies have been added.   We continue to work with Radian on a regular basis, and supplied food hampers and vouchers at Christmas for their hostels based within our area.   The closure of the Job Centre in the town to its new base in Havant initially caused some teething problems, but we are confident that these have now been resolved.  We remain in communication with other local food banks and voluntary organisations in order to work jointly in meeting either one-off or ongoing needs.

The fresh food vouchers introduced in 2016 and issued with each referral request continues, and it was for this reason that we held our first street collection in December.   As well as raising £396.10 on the day itself, the interest generated we believe raised our profile considerably with subsequent donations of cheques and cash received before Christmas totalling £585 and also 5 new volunteers.  A total of 323 fresh food vouchers were issued during the year, plus gift vouchers at Christmas, to the value of £1765.00.  The money raised by the street collection and subsequent donations will go towards the supply of vouchers for 2018 as well as purchasing basic food items for the store when the stock runs out.    Our bank balance as at the 31st December 2017 stood at £3437.48, and we are confident that we will be able to meet the demands and challenges which 2018 may bring.

Donations of food at the collection points within the churches and various points throughout the town continues, and we are extremely grateful for the generosity and support of the local community.   Two of the main supermarkets in the town have now come on board, and we are sharing the goods donated on a 50:50 basis with another local foodbank.
Final thanks and acknowledgement this evening must go to all the volunteers who man both our distribution and sorting sessions, as well as additional one-off events.  Without you we would not be able to offer this much needed source of support in Petersfield, and the Committee thank you all so much.

Marion Voller
Chair of the Steering Group


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