Bridgend Food Bank
What is the Foodbank?
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals in Bridgend County Borough donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank. 'Supermarket Collections' are one of the ways that food is donated: These are food drives held at supermarkets where volunteers give shoppers a 'foodbank shopping list' and ask them to buy an extra item or two for local people in crisis. Bridgend foodbank is Bridgend Sainsbury's charity of the year - a permanent donation box is located in the store at the end of the checkouts.
Food is sorted and stored
Volunteers sort food to check that it's in date and pack it onto shelves ready to begiven to people in need.
Frontline care professionals identify people in need
Care professionals such as domestic violence charities, health visitors, social workers, CAB, The Wallich and Job Centre Plus identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. Clients receive food.
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a Foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or coffee and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.
How do the Caswell posse help out?
Every Tuesday an enthusiastic trio of patients accompanied by an OT or me attempt to find parking for the van (usually in Asda). The team then walk to the Food Bank and get to work as soon as they are through the front door sometimes not even bothering to take off their coats (if it is the group that I am accompanying)! There would have been crates and crates and crates delivered to the Food bank that morning and the challenge would be to get it all stacked on the shelves in an hour. The volunteers at the Food Bank are always friendly and sometimes offer a cup of tea and a biscuit but most of the time they are content to give out the food to those in need and leave us to our labours as they can see that we are focused and mean business! The popularity of this volunteer role at the clinic has increased with us having to arrange two teams and alternate weeks, also setting up a waiting list. As you might have guessed it is a good opportunity to roll up the sleeves and help those in need whilst having some competitive banter between teams. On a serious note the patients who do attend play a valuable role and the organisers of the Food Bank constantly pass on their messages of appreciation. Karen, Rachel and I have been told by the teams from Caswell how much they enjoy giving something back and the Clinic values the work too as those who received recognition awards at the recent ceremony will testify.
How can I get involved?
If you have leave into the community, whether it's escorted or even unescorted you can apply. Ask your team and then they can refer you to the Occupational Therapy team. One word of advice make sure you join the A Team with the Trojan Nick Mc.