You may well have, like me, noticed a growing number of references in the news to food poverty in the UK and the growing need for community food banks supporting families who are struggling to buy food in times of financial crisis. Not surprisingly, given that this is a food blog, food is something of an enthusiasm of mine – not just the presence of it, but the absence too. (Clearly I’m not enthusiastic about its absence, but you get my drift. It’s a subject that catches my attention). There are a great many fantastic charities that work internationally to provide essential nourishment – for example, Mary’s Meals who received a fantastic donation and lots of publicity via the Never Seconds blog – but there are some on our doorstep here in Sheffield too.
This weekend, I was looking to find out where my nearest food bank was, as I wanted to make a donation – I was aware of the Trussell Trust, who run banks in Upperthorpe and Burngreave, but there are several other independent food banks run by community groups or religious organisations around Sheffield, and given the rapid growth of food banks in Sheffield – numbers have doubled in the last year – the total may well increase. They generally ask for donations of non-perishable food items, such as cereals, tinned puddings, biscuits, pasta, tinned vegetables, tinned meat and fish and UHT milk – apparently the last item is always in demand so why not pick up a carton or two next time you’re shopping, and drop it off at your nearest food bank? The items on the list (have a look at the Burngreave food bank shopping list for a guide) are individually all quite cheap, so adding one or two to your shop won’t greatly affect the bill. Alternatively, between a group of friends or an office, it wouldn’t cost much more than a few pounds each to do a big stock-up for a food bank that could feed a family for several days.
My aim here is to try and collect as many links to Sheffield food banks as I can, so that if you want to donate – or if you need help from a food bank – you can easily find one that is close to you. Here are the banks I’m aware of so far:
S6 food bank at St Thomas’ Church on Gilpin Street
Burngreave food bank at Rock Christian Centre on Carlisle Street
Fir Vale food bank at St Cuthbert Church on Barnsley Road
Firth Park food bank at Brushes Community Centre, West Quadrant
Sheffield Castle food bank at Castle Court on St. John’s Road – phone 0114 273 1778
This list may change, so I’ll try and update it with anything I hear about. If you know of another food bank in Sheffield, or in the surrounding region, please add a comment and a link to make readers aware of it. Thanks!