We believe that our clients stories and quotes speak more about the value of our Foodbank than we ever could.  Enjoy reading a few of these below.

Anne Marie's story

 

Anne Marie is the mother of five children, two now grown up, and lives in Bristol along with her husband. She is a trained nail technician and hairdresser, but due to an ongoing illness has been unable to work for several years. With so many mouths to feed the Bristol North West food bank has been a lifeline to her family, especially when benefit payments are delayed due to technical oversight.

Wayne and Denise:

 

“We have always worked.  We met at BT where we’ve worked for 28 and 19 years. We’ve also worked at the Council and the NHS.  We own our own house and have paid off our mortgage. We’ve both recently lost our jobs and are having difficulty obtaining benefits and just finding out what’s available to us. We have no money left at all now and are relying on borrowing small amounts off our family.

We used to look down our nose at people who weren’t working and on benefits, saying, ‘Why don’t they just get a job?’. We are now finding that its not always that easy.

The Foodbank has been excellent, helpful a delight. We had someone to talk to and air our views. Also great coffee.”

Steven a client said:

 

‘The Foodbank is warm, friendly and inviting. Every member of staff seems to smile and are happy to sit with you for as long as you want. When you’re at your lowest point, the hosts and hostesses always seem to pick you up, dust you down and send you on your way with a kind word and a strengthened soul.’

Charlotte Leslie MP said:

 

“Bristol NW Foodbank do really fantastic work with an enormous range of people who’ve run into hard times. Financial crisis can happen to nearly anyone and it is inspiring to see such personal care and attention shared with so many people who are struggling. If Government systems could provide this kind of personalised approach to the people it cares for, we would live in a much better world.”

My pension has been stopped, and it’s a real problem for me waiting for it to be reinstated. Thank you for your help.

I have always worked. My hours have been cut recently due to funding cuts, so I can’t afford a lot on food. Thanks to the Foodbank for making a difference to my local area.

I quite often end up not being able to eat, so that I can feed the children. The Foodbank has been brilliant, fantastic and all the Foodbank staff have been really polite and friendly, and also more than that it’s been lovely just to be able to come along and have a chat.

Kelly

I have only managed to get by this week because of the help of the Foodbank. Without it, I don’t know how I would have fed my children. I’ve been in tears over what to do.

Thank you very much for the food that you gave us on Thursday at Lawrence Weston Baptist Church pick up point. We were delighted with the food you supplied and this allowed us a short respite from worrying about where our next meal was coming from, and for this we both cannot thank you enough. Please can you say a big thank you to everyone from the Foodbank that was at Lawrence Weston Church last Thursday as they were all so friendly and helpful and the hot drinks were much appreciated...

I can’t thank the Foodbank enough for helping us out when we needed it. We had no where else to turn. Now we are back on our feet, we are in a position to donate food items back to the Foodbank.

She was so grateful she was nearly in tears and when I called on her she showed me her cupboards full of the food and said she’d never had so much and she kept going in the kitchen to open the doors and look. I don’t think most people in Bristol have much concept of how much this means and how close to the bread line so many people are in Bristol.

Although she found difficulty in admitting she couldn’t provide, Anne Marie always finds a warm welcome, a non judgmental attitude and a cup of tea from the staff at the food bank. When she has to go to the food bank, Anne Marie says she is always taken aback by the amount of food her family is given, “I can’t believe all that’s for us!”. The food bank is such a vital resource to families like Anne Marie’s.

The food packs given to families, as well as single people, are designed to be enough for three days of meals, however Anne Marie boasts she can make them last a lot longer! “It is so important,” she says, “for people to continue to support this charity.” There are many opportunities to donate to the food banks in Bristol. Many supermarkets have collection days. With buy one get one free offers in many supermarkets it’s so easy to give the ‘free’ one to the food bank so a family has enough to eat. Anne Marie’s family have felt the benefit of so many other people’s thoughtful actions and they want to thank those who have given and encourage others to think about how they could help.

Written by Mary Topley August 2012

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