Community NewsNews in Pictures

New foodbank to open at St Barnabas Church

Main image: Vineyard BS4 Food Outlet Coordinator Kate MacLeod outside St Barnabas Church which is going to be the base for a new foodbank in October.

Knowle West will see a new foodbank opening in October – at a time when the cost of living crisis is hitting local families hard.

The face-to-face clinic at St Barnabas Church on Daventry Road will also have support workers on hand, who can talk to people and give advice about any issues they are facing.

The foodbank will be open every Wednesday – but anyone needing an emergency food parcel will need to be referred by community agencies such as schools, advice centres and GPs.

There are currently foodbanks at the Salvation Army in Padstow Road, open on Thursdays and Sundays and at Ilminster Avenue Nursery School.

The new facility will be a base for the Vineyard BS4 Foodbank Outlet –  established in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic – and one of six that make up South and East Bristol Foodbank. 

Kate with volunteer Melanie Sheldon at the Vineyard BS4 Foodbank Outlet.

Vineyard BS4 Foodbank Outlet Coordinator, Kate MacLeod says: “..Sadly, as we’ve moved through the pandemic and into the cost-of-living crisis, the need for emergency food parcels has continued to rise.

“In the last 12 months we have delivered 630 emergency food parcels, feeding 934 adults and 666 children across the BS4 area, which is double the number delivered during the previous year. 

“Behind these numbers are individuals and families who are facing impossible decisions about how to put food on the table and pay for the rising cost of energy. We are therefore really excited about the prospect of opening a face-to-face clinic at St Barnabas.

 “Having a base in Knowle West will mean that we will be able to start to go beyond the all-important emergency food parcels, to signposting people in crisis to speak with Support Workers who can help people tackle the issues they’re facing and reduce the need to use a foodbank again in the future…”

Associate Minister at St Barnabas, the Rev Dr Trevor Dean said: “We are really pleased that by having a local base the foodbank will be able to offer even more vital support to many in the local community at a time of real financial challenge.”

The Matthew Tree Project in Filwood, which also offers crisis support, paused its service due to funding issues in May. The charity re-started helping existing clients again in July and is hoping to take new referrals from October.

The new clinic, part of the Bristol charity inHope and national network of Trussell Trust Foodbanks, will be open every Wednesday at St Barnabas, 12.30 – 2pm from October 19. It is currently looking for volunteers to help out and anyone interested should email bs4@sebristol.foodbank.org.uk

There is also a free Help through Hardship helpline where you can talk to a trained adviser on 0808 208 2138, open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, except public holidays.