To provide three days emergency food aid for people in crisis who have been identified and referred by agencies working in the Community. We work with these referral agencies and to signpost service users to other agencies appropriate for their needs.
To provide a listening ear for service users where appropriate.
Because of the rising costs of food and fuel, combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits, there is an increasing number of people in the Carlisle district who are going without food. We are not a free supermarket and under normal circumstances would not expect any of our service users to receive three parcels in any one crisis. As someone once said we are to give a hand up, not a hand out.
Throughout 2011 David Pitkeathly of the Church of Scotland and Rachael Rodway of Carlisle One World Centre had been noticing an increased use of drop in facilities and the food voucher scheme and met with other agencies, with a view to setting up a Carlisle Foodbank. As the Salvation Army in Carlisle had been distributing parcels for 25 years and at their invitation it was decided to build on their work and from their buildings. Further agencies joined, and the Foodbank went live in April 2012
Carlisle Foodbank is run by a Board of Trustees who have a range of different backgrounds and are interdenominational. There is a part-time manager and many volunteers from across the area. We continue to rely on donations of time, money and food, and look to work together with local agencies, schools, and businesses to support people in crisis.
We support people through a referral system with local agency partners, and when donations are available we are able to provide for people with special dietary needs. We also tailor parcels for each family or person we provide for to make sure that it suits their needs as best we can. The food parcels are designed to last for three days.
When we started Carlisle Foodbank it was with the traditional view of providing emergency long-life food for referred individuals and families who were in short term crisis. Since 2012 new legislation and benefit rules have highlighted that problems are more deep rooted and of a longer duration. This, added to the scandal of supermarket waste, led us to Foodbank Plus, which we also call the Carlisle Food Initiative. We now collect surplus food from Marks and Spencer, Greggs, Bookers and Pioneer amongst others which we use to cook wholesome food, or we provide fresh fruit and vegetables instead of tins to those who prefer the healthier alternative. This initiative is developing and we are always seeking organisations that will partner with the work.
We are enjoying working with partners such as the CAB, Mind Carlisle County Council, Sustainable Carlisle, Riverside Housing and the Animal Refuge.
If you wish to Partner with Carlisle Foodbank on any of the proposed initiatives please email us firstname.lastname@example.org