A year in the life of the Foodbank Manager
“It’s been an unforgettable first year since I started working at the Foodbank in September 2015. Propped up by an outstanding team of volunteers and a supportive Board, I feel very fortunate to be in a job that I love to do. We have served a total of 3604 adults and 1241 children since September 2015 who have been referred to us by our referring agencies across the city.
There have been some defining moments over the year, the most poignant being able to help people affected by the devastating Storm Desmond that saw hundreds of Carlisle households flooded in December 2015. We have celebrated breakthroughs in some of our service users circumstances and have had the privilege to share in some of their important milestones and commiserate together over setbacks.
Our sister project, the Carlisle Food Initiative (CaFI) has come up in leaps and bounds and we are currently receiving surplus food donations from corporate partners across the city which is enabling us to transform fresh produce into nutritious and tasty meals for our service users.
In April this year we started serving hot drinks and snacks in our premises and it has grown into a popular free café serving about 40 hot drinks a week.
We have made an exciting new partnership with The Animals’ Refuge who have a registered vet nurse in the Foodbank fortnightly to meet pet owners who might have questions about their animals. They have set up a dedicated Pet Corner that is well stocked with pet food and useful information leaflets. This has been a valuable addition to our service provision at the Foodbank.
We have experienced both great abundance and shortage of food over the year but all along we have had an army of supporters and well-wishers that have kept us in operation. We look forward to a time when our service may not be needed anymore but we are grateful that we are able to be there while it is still needed.”