The Food Hub is Bolton’s main centrally located emergency food distribution outlet – providing food parcels to struggling households across the borough. We are so grateful to all the partner organisations and volunteers, and the donors of food and funds, without whose help and support this critical service simply would not be possible.
Bolton Food Hub supports households who are shielding, self-isolating at home or are otherwise experiencing financial distress as a result of the current pandemic. It also supports those who were already facing challenging times before the pandemic hit.
How it Works
When the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in March 2020, and the world went into lockdown, all our usual food projects were merged into a single new humanitarian response service. This means that clients who would otherwise be receiving help from Storehouse Foodbank, Storehouse Pantry or Local Welfare Provision are now being supported through our Food Hub. At this present time clients do not call in to collect food from us. We are now distributing all food parcels directly out to a vastly increased number of households across Bolton who find themselves in need at this extraordinary time.
There is a single point of access for all who are in need. All enquiries are made by ringing a central Bolton Council telephone number: 01204 337221. Those making enquiries are asked a number of questions in order to ensure that the most appropriate help and support can be provided. Amongst other support services, this may include door step food parcel deliveries. Subject to eligibility, households may be offered help with an emergency gas and/or electricity top up (if the household has a pre-payment meter). Food parcels are delivered daily by volunteers from the Food Hub out to all those that need them.
We recognise that for many, food provision alone will not provide all the support that is needed. So we continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure other factors associated with their hardship are addressed alongside receiving the food parcels.
The Bolton Food Hub has been made possible through our partnership with FareShare, Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Seddon Construction, Greggs, Greenhalghs, Carrs , Warburtons, Bolton CVS and many others within the ‘Bolton Family’.
Since the beginning of March until the end of May 2020 we have fed 17,929 people with 9,516 food parcels. In total we have collected, purchased and redistributed over 100 tonnes of food during this period. Just to give some idea of the scale of change, prior to the pandemic we would typically redistribute some 62 tonnes of food annually.
This is astonishing and goes to show how wonderful the people of Bolton are in looking after the Bolton Family at times of crisis.
Here’s what some of those receiving food parcels have had to say:
“My business is so slow at the minute. I’ve got no money coming through. I’m having a tough time, and this is really helping to get me back on my feet. It’s greatly appreciated”
“I don’t know what I’d have done without you. I’m getting tearful just thinking about it. Thank you so much”
“I haven’t been out for 9 weeks, so the food parcels are such a great help”
“I’m able to eat food I wouldn’t normally be able to get and it’s healthier as well. I appreciate the chats too as I don’t get to see people throughout the week”.
The food parcels are being delivered out to households through over 200 volunteers who have stepped forward to help in so many ways – from collecting surplus food from supermarkets, to sorting, packing and then delivering food parcels to the front doors of all those who need them.
This is a snapshot of what the volunteers have had to say:
“It’s made me feel like I have made a difference. It’s both sad and heart-warming at the same time, but the key thing for me is just checking in on people, this is just as important as the food. I feel really blessed to do the job I do and to work with so many inspiring individuals”.
“It feels like you are actually helping people. Usually, in my job, you wouldn’t get to see the difference you have made directly to the customer. Being involved in this project I have had so many ‘thankyou’s’ from so many people. I have even had people clapping me at their door. It’s great to feel like you are making a real difference!”
how you can help
We are so appreciative of all those who have donated money for essential food purchases to make up the packs, and those who are continuing to donate food items on a weekly basis. A big, big thank you goes out to one and all!
You can learn more about how to make food or monetary donations to help ensure this service can continue for as long as it is needed here.
You can register your interest in volunteering to help us here. https://www.urbanoutreach.co.uk/partner-with-us/individual-supporter/