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Community Hero: Crowthorne Foodbank

26 August 2020

Foodbank and Bob

The Trussell Trust reported in March that a record 1.9 million food bank parcels were given to people over the course of the previous year, an issue that has only been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic – something with the Crowthorne Foodbank knows only too well. 

Based in the Vineyard Church Centre, the Foodbank provides vital support for those in need in the local area and further afield; last year, it provided nearly 14,000 three-day emergency food supplies to those in crisis. We recently caught up with Bob Little, Crowthorne Foodbank Manager, to find out a bit more about the work they do.   

Can you tell us about the Crowthorne Foodbank and how it was established?

The Crowthorne Foodbank was established in 2012 as one of our many ministries from our church, Wokingham Vineyard to provide emergency food parcels to those who needed them most. We have a number of local community volunteers who support the Foodbank and we’re also kindly supported by two main food stores: Tesco at The Meadows, Sandhurst, and the Co-Op on the High Street, Crowthorne. 

Who does the Crowthorne Foodbank support?

The foodbank provides support and food to people in emergencies or crisis by the way of a referral system. We do this by having red vouchers posted in many places within the community, for example schools, doctors’ surgeries, churches, police/ambulance/fire stations, citizens advice bureaus and local council offices. The people at these locations get to know the clients and issue them with the red voucher which they can redeem at any foodbank close to them.

What other services does the Crowthorne Foodbank offer?

We provide clients with household essentials such as cleaning packs and toiletries, as well as our food parcels. We also give advice to the individuals and help guide them to the correct authorities so they can access the right support for them, so hopefully they no longer have to rely on the Foodbank. 

How can others help support the cause/services you provide?

We have a real army of local community volunteers who support the Foodbank, from drivers who collect the food for us to volunteers who help to sort and pack the food into bags ready to be distributed to those who need it. We also have volunteers who help to distribute the food as well as advice and support. 

Many people in the local area support us by donating food at the collection points we have in Tesco and the Co-Op. People can also donate money on our website www.crowthorne.foodbank.org.uk

What is your role at the foodbank? Have you always worked/wanted to work in the industry? How long have you been working with the foodbank?

I am the Project Manager and have worked at the Foodbank for two and a half years now; it’s part of my role as the Support Assistant to the Pastors of Wokingham Vineyard Church. 

What do you like most about living/working in Crowthorne?

I don’t live in Crowthorne myself, but I love working in the area. It is a really charming, clean and well-kept village, away from all the hustle and bustle of big towns and cities. 

Crowthorne Foodbank is always on the lookout for volunteers and donations, so if you would like to give a helping hand, you can find further information and contact details on its website

If you’re looking for a charming, close knit community to call home, why not visit Renaissance’s developments in Crowthorne and Sandhurst? Contact us to arrange a private viewing of your potential new home: 

Crowthorne: 01344 238215 / [email protected]

Sandhurst: 01344 238138 / [email protected]