Looking back on 2020, it was a tough year for us all.
Unfortunately, low income is one of the main reasons people are referred to us at EFFB but in 2020 we saw this rise. The impact of the pandemic left many in financial crisis, increasing the number of families that needed our support. We provided 37% more meals to households in need in 2020 than in the previous year of 2019.
We were able to support families who were struggling, due to the lack of free school meals, with extra food to help them. In total, we provided 12,000 meals to children throughout the district. During the summer we worked alongside Essex Libraries, Heart Felt Tips and Active Essex , giving out reading challenge packs, stationery and activity bags.
In March, we made the decision to close our Distribution Centre’s and start delivering emergency food straight to our client’s doors. In between the lockdowns we were fortunate enough to be able to welcome clients back, whilst continuing to run our doorstep delivery service; in this time we made 509 deliveries. This was made possible with the 80 new volunteers we have gained since March, many of whom have stayed with us and have taken on other roles within EFFB.
We also saw an increase in assistance from our wonderful community. Our supporters donated an amazing 37.6 tons of food and other essentials, 36.6 tons of which was distributed throughout the year. Local support came from a combination of individual donors and community groups, including the Buckhurst Hill Community Hub who hosted doorstep collection points. We do not want to forget our local schools and churches who always do wonderfully, collecting for us. We also received help from many individuals who were able to fundraise for us. A big Thank you for those who helped us through 2020!
Our full End of Year Report will be released soon, so keep an eye out for a more detailed account of everything your food bank has done within the community this year.