Every morning since the start of the year, food stock levels at Oldham Foodbank have been visibly lower than the week before.
It began with gentle observations – “We’re running out of jam”, one volunteer would say to the next.
Then it became more serious. Supplies of staple items that are usually plentiful – tinned meat, fish, cooking sauce, and even baked beans – started to run low.
Now, the warehouse, usually brimming with non-perishable goods ready to be packed and sent out wherever they are needed, looks vacant and sad. A shadow of its former self.
The statistics tell the tale. In January 2022, we fed close to 2,000 people, representing an average increase in demand of nearly 30% compared to last year.
At the same time, stock intake levels are drastically lower. We are currently processing on average 20% less food from donations on a monthly basis than we did last year.
This combination means that our food stocks are now badly depleted.
“We are even running low on baked beans and pasta,” says Father Tom Davis SSC, Parish Priest of St Margaret’s Church who also works full time at Oldham Foodbank. “It is unheard of to run out of these items.”
“We are now buying food to keep up with demand, and are only able to do so because of financial donations that have been made. My fear is that we could run out of both food and money.”
A picture tells a thousand words. The photo shown below was taken by one of our volunteers. A few months ago, each pallet was stacked on all sides six crates high with essential shopping items. Now, there is only empty space.
We’re hoping to fill that space once again. This is an urgent appeal to supermarkets, businesses, community leaders, and of course the general public. Please help us to bring Oldham Foodbank warehouse back to its former glory!
Contact us on 0161 770 7007 to find out how you can help, or check out the links below for more information.