Bordon Food Bank is appealing for more supplies after “another fraught week” in which it gave out 110 packs of food to people in need.
Volunteer Maureen Holden said: “We make up 110 packs in shifts through the week as clients have a regular day on which to collect. Some packs are for a single person, most for families.
“On Saturday, for example, there are eight singles and 22 families. A family might be two adults and one child, could be one adult with five children – all variations.
“So every pack has at least one carton of UHT milk. A large family can have two if we have enough. This means that every week we need at least 120 cartons of milk – usually semi-skimmed, although if there’s a toddler in the family we try to give full cream milk.
“Baked beans are another staple food – protein, carbohydrates, most kids eat them. Every family pack has two or three tins, so we need getting on for 300 tins a week. Same with tinned tomatoes – healthy, versatile, cheap, so 300 to 400 a week.”
Other staple items include tinned spaghetti, tea bags, coffee, small bags of pasta and rice, microwave rice, pasta sauce, soup, squash, custard, tinned rice pudding, jelly, biscuits, ketchup and cereals that appeal to children – “so not Bran Flakes or Special K!”.
Volunteer Maureen Holden said: “As generous as the donations put in the collection boxes every week continue to be, they don’t keep up with our need. We will find a home for anything you want to donate and we do try to put a bit of a treat into the packs, so we’ll be grateful for any of these things.”
The food bank always needs baby wipes, nappies in sizes 3, 4 and 6, Stage 1 baby formula – Cow & Gate, Aptamil and SMA Pro – cereal, rusks, jars and sachets of baby food. It currently has enough pet food, period products and detergent.
Maureen said cash is always welcome but donations of food, either to the boxes in Tesco and Lidl or directly to the food bank in the Forest Centre, will make life easier for them after a week in which several hundred pounds was spent and the volunteers – all but one over retirement age – took time out to do three big shops as supermarkets will not deliver to the food bank.
She added: “We all work at the food bank because we love it but this is an attempt to demonstrate what a big scale we are now operating on.
“I know of course that times are hard for everybody. Price rises are scary. But I feel that it’s important for the community, who support the food bank so unfailingly, to be told the current facts this week.”
The food bank also runs the Let’s Keep Warm project, offering blankets, shawls, hats and draught excluders.
It is open Tuesday 2pm to 3.30pm, Wednesday 10am to 2.30pm, and Thursday and Saturday 10am to midday.