Since the end of September, when the Government & Local Authority funding for our foodbanks ended, the Trustees and management committees of both Bow and Bethnal Green Foodbanks have been working on strategies to secure the future of our services.
- Securing bulk food supplies at reduced rates from special foodbank supply schemes, and by cultivating local relationships with wholesalers and fresh produce suppliers;
- Planning a fundraising campaign to raise £240,000 (enough to maintain our service provision, with expected growth in client numbers, until March 2021);
- Reintroduction of client registration, this time using a specialist foodbank management software in the ‘back office’;
- Reduction in the average cost of food/ items per client – this was around £20 per adult/ family per week and has now been reduced to around £12, and will be further reduced to under £10. This allows us to continue to serve existing/ growing client numbers for a few extra weeks.
- Using the 6 months funding from the Big Lottery Fund (which could not be spent on food) to commission part-time support to focus on fundraising and publicity; administration; research into local food provision and our client base; and a healthy eating initiative.
We currently have funds enough to continue operating until around the 18th January 2021 at the current level (taking into account the reductions in average food parcel cost above).
The fundraising campaign is going well – with individual donations coming in daily to the Virgin Money Giving page (see total here) and significant pledges made by some corporate supporters. We have a fantastic, and growing, group of volunteers who are focused on the main topics supporting this fundraising campaign:
- Grants and foundations – identifying sources of funding for food purchases (not staff). Applications are then made by our Treasurer;
- Corporates – approaching companies, perhaps via employee matching schemes, to make financial donations; or possibly to supply bulk food (producers/ manufacturers/ distributers)
- Publicity – generating new graphic design, a new logo (coming soon!), a refreshed website (coming soon-ish!), new content such as videos, imagery and copy for social media posts.