Lydia’s House

Lydia’s House

Lydia’s House is the clothing, bedding & household section of Black Country Food Bank.

There are a wonderful group of ladies that organise this area. Items are donated and these are then given out to people in need. This would be someone who has had a house fire, or a family whose benefits are delayed and desperately need a few items of clothing for their growing children or for someone who has been homeless and has now been given accommodation.

Update from BCFB Board

Dear Supporter

Re: Wendy Fryatt, CEO, Black Country Foodbank

The board of trustees for Black Country Foodbank would like to inform you of the news that we are saying farewell to Wendy Fryatt as our CEO , but she leaves with our love and deep gratitude for what she has enabled us all to achieve to date.

The board of Black Country Foodbank and (we feel certain) all of our valued supporters and agency friends, would first like to thank Wendy for boldly stepping out and starting this vital community work and playing such a vital part in bringing it to where it is today.

Black Country Foodbank has grown tremendously since starting on Wendy’s dining room table in 2006. There are now sixteen distribution sites, 5000 sq ft of warehousing and a solid volunteer base providing numbers of balanced meals exceeding 200,000 in 2013 – and we know Wendy is leaving the organisation in a secure and solid place. We are certain that our supporters, staff and volunteers feel the same.

The changes at BCFB have been agreed and underway for some months and were initiated by Wendy as we have looked ahead to the next five years. We remain in close relationship and look forward to Wendy’s continued success.

Wendy says, “This has been an incredible journey from foundation on my own dining-room table to BCFB becoming a well-respected regional charity. Together we’ve fed some 48000+ people, clothed countless people and you all know I lost count some time ago of all the sleeping-bags.

My prayer is that the work of BCFB goes on from strength to strength, that they enjoy their new space at Albion Street, how could God’s favour not rest on something so close to His heart – the poor.

For myself; please pray for God’s continuing favour on me & mine and that He will clearly show me my next steps with Him.

I’m already spending time restoring my 25yr old car and, perhaps more importantly, exploring a role within international disaster relief initially for the Philippines .”

This is an exciting new season for BCFB. We feel it wise to transition smoothly into this with a level of momentum, starting with a short review to ensure that the success and growth of this charity builds well into the future. The review will be facilitated with the help of ‘ACE Black Country’, (The Association of Christian Enterprise) network of which we became Members in 2013. This is part of a broader regional Christian network called The Net which seeks to connect, resource and inspire community initiatives across the region through Christian Churches, Organisations and Businesses. The review will be overseen by one of the ACE Team, John Cook, whom many of you will know as he is also one of the core leadership team at Amblecote Christian Centre. He is passionate about the mission of BCFB and has served as part of our Board in the past.

We are sure that the Black Country Foodbank will continue to be successful in its mission well into the future, bringing hope and encouragement to many, whilst fulfilling a crucial role in bringing Christ to the Community in Word and in Deed “for such a time as this….”

In the meantime, it will be business as usual on the ground and our team will be happy to help with any queries you may have:

Administration – Jenny Coleman (0121 448 8184; jen.coleman@blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk)
Outreach – Emma Crook (0121 448 8184; emma@blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk)
Stakeholder Engagement – John Cook (07977 235854; johncook@amblecotechristiancentre.org.uk)

Regards

Jolyon

DISTRIBUTION CENTRE CLOSED

With effect from today the distribution centre at the Lookout Project is now closed.
The address was
116 Commonside
Pensnett
DY5 4AE

They’re Back In Stock!

Our Bags are back!

These limited edition bags have finally arrived! With our logo printed on both sides, these amazing quality bags are back and for sale.

You can pick one up for a minimum donation of £2!

Available at; your local church, foodbank and our main Storehouse. We will update you when they are available in more areas!

Christmas Message 2013

Hi Everyone

We know how much you love our home-made Christmas cards but this year instead of sending you a piece of paper by snail mail, and to save a bit of money, we thought we’d pass on our humungous gratitude and thanks by more modern means.

Our Christmas message this year is clear. We are truly humbled by all the donations and support.

All donors and supporters are important to us and we hope you understand that we cannot thank everyone individually (even though we would love to!). From the individual who pops in discreetly to drop a bag of goods off through to the larger donations we receive from Churches, businesses and schools, every single donation counts.

We’d like to thank the Distribution Centres, the volunteers, those who support us financially, those who pray for us, those who tell others about the work we are doing.

Our task has become much larger than anyone could have anticipated and just when our shelves begin looking bare we receive a donation to keep us going. That donation could have come from you and we cannot thank you enough.

Your local community has benefitted from your generosity and for them Foodbank has been a lifeline at a time of real crisis, by supporting Black Country Foodbank you are directly helping your local community.

If you know anyone that donates or supports Black Country Foodbank in other ways please pass on this message to them, we would like as many supporters as possible to know how grateful we are.

Please keep supporting us; we can’t do this without you.

Have a very Happy Christmas and truly blessed 2014.

From all the team at Black Country Foodbank, X

Christmas 2013

Oh my goodness, it’s the end of another year….

Homeless at Christmas!

Seven and a half years we’ve officially been at this now, who’d have ever thought we’d be needed in the community more now than ever.

When we started out on my dining-room table in Cradley; little did we know.
When we moved into a third share of an tiny office at Chawn Hill Church, Stourbridge; little did we know.
When we moved into that dark corner of St.Johns Church on the Stourbridge ring road; little did we know.
When we moved to The Storehouse in Halesowen; little did we know.

The difference is though that God knew! He knew that His children would need help before any of us; bankers, economists, politicians, none of them saw it coming… God knew.

At a time, 2002 ish, when we were able to obtain a 105% mortgage without a deposit, we could get a loan from just about any high street bank God showed thousands of people all over the world a very similar picture of what most of us would now recognise as a foodbank. Why?

Because God so loved the world!

For approximately two billion Christians across the globe this time of year is Advent, not the chocolate calender (though they’re great), but a time for us to prepare for the anniversary of God’s gift to the world, His own Son.

At BCFB we’ve been thinking a lot about gifts lately;

do we have enough appropriate gifts to give to each child we feed during the month of December?

What about all our amazing volunteers, do we have the money to buy them each a gift?

How amazing the community are in The Black Country, gifting food into the bank.

There are so many gifts that sometimes we can’t see them right in front of us.

Thank you all for the gifts you trust us with throughout the year.

Have a very Happy Christmas and a truly blessed New Year,

Much love from ALL the team at BCFB, X

HIGHFIELDS PRIMARY SCHOOL COUNCIL VISIT

Want to know what happens at BCFB; ask a child?

This report is from year 5 & 6 students at a local primary school…………

On Tuesday 15th October we visited the Black Country Food bank distribution centre in Halesowen. Our School had donated all the food from our harvest collection to the food bank for the last two years and we wanted to know what happens to it.

We found out that on arrival at the foodbank the first thing that happens is that all the donated food is weighed. The food bank keeps accurate records by weighing everything to track how much food has been donated and how much food has been distributed to people in need.

We discovered that the foodbank started in 2006 and fed just 49 people that year.

Last Year 2012 the food bank fed 12,000 people.

What was shocking was to be told  that between January and August 2013 the food bank had already fed 10,000 adults and 4,000 children. They were also very busy during the school holidays because families whose children would normally receive a free school meal suddenly had extra mouths to feed during the day because their children were at home.

The food bank provides three days of emergency food to those in most need. We found out that they give out three days’ worth of food for practical reasons. People who use the foodbank don’t usually have cars and have to walk or use public transport. The foodbank have worked out that three days of food is what people can carry.

We wanted to find out how do the foodbank know who to give food to? We learnt that they do this by a voucher scheme. The foodbank gives out vouchers to responsible organisations like the police, fire service, children centres and schools. These organisations are selected because they have people working in them who are trained to work out if a person really needs help from the foodbank. They do this by asking them questions but very often these organisations will know that person or family and their circumstances. We found out that our school also has a supply of these vouches and can give them out to families who find themselves without any food.

The foodbank always tries to give out a healthy balanced supply of foods so that it includes tins of vegetables and fruit along with tins of meat or fish and rice and sauces. They also include cereals as it is important to have a meal first thing in the morning.

Sometimes if the family has children they will add a treat if they have been donated any chocolate items or pop but that is only occasionally.

We also wanted to find out how many foodbank locations there were. The distribution centre that we visited supplies food to fifteen foodbank locations across the Black Country.

We also discovered that the foodbank doesn’t just give out food. They include toiletry items so that people can keep themselves clean like shampoo, shower products, toothpaste and the important toilet roll!

We also saw a clothing project which is called Lydia’s House. This project works in a similar way to the foodbank project where people are issued with vouchers to exchange for clothes. So if someone needed a suit to attend an interview and they hadn’t got one then this project would let them have one.

We also wanted to find out whether there were food items that the foodbank didn’t want. The foodbank told us that they are not able to take fresh food and all the food that is donated has to have its date checked and then sorted into date order on the shelves.

The foodbank will accept all donations but when we visited they did have lots and lots and lots of tins of baked beans and so they are encouraging people to donate other food items. We also found out that they regularly run out of things like fruit juice and UHT milk.

Highfields School Council Representatives Year 5 and Year 6

The view from the coalface….

This has come in from one of the volunteers at the Brierley Hill Project, one of our distribution centres…..

God provides at the BHP Foodbank

Thomas Unitt

On the 13th of November I was helping in the drop in at BHP, but this particular Wednesday was quite different. On this Wednesday there was a whopping 20 orders for the food bank which looked impossible to fill as the food bank didn’t have enough food.
At the start there was hardly any meat, fruit but loads of baked beans. Without hesitation or questioning we just continued to fill bags, and the really odd thing was that we had enough food to go around.
Each bag was being filled with varied things but after every bag we looked and there was hardly anything on the shelves. However when we are at our lowest God always provides!
When we thought we could do it no longer we had a massive donation from a very kind lady, we got them weighed and the shelves were filled again! At this point we had done about 11 bags with absolutely no way of knowing how we did so. But with the shelves filled up again we quickly got to work with more bags and the orders didn’t dry up in the slightest, every time we had done an order another came.
Orders for individuals and families came thick and fast and with three of us working at it bags were getting done steadily. Before long however with the amount of orders and sheer people we had to feed, food was quickly running out and we had to compensate by keeping ready meals and the like back until we had a larger or family order. However after 20 people we marvelled at how we actually filled 20 bags of food when we started the day with so little.
People were fed that day and it was undisputed by any of us that it was God. God’s hand is on the people who are hungry and in need.

Praise him.

New Distribution Centre

Opens Tuesday 26th November 9am- 12pm and also Thursday 10am-1pm

The Carpenter’s Store

Provident Methodist Church

Colley Orchard

Halesowen

B62 2LA

Schools step up to the plate for BCFB

At BCFB we truly believe that without the partnership of the local community we wouldn’t be able to reach all of our neighbours throughout the Black Country region;

here are some of the stories of “Harvest 2013″

“At Colley Lane Primary School in Halesowen, children have recently been involved in collecting supplies for the local food bank.
The food bank gives support to those who are in desperate need of it. As a school we raised an amazing 259.6kg of food, which means over 250 meals for hungry people.
The school has been involved in raising food for the food bank in previous years and we want everyone to realise just how much of a difference it makes to people’s lives.
The school also had a lovely assembly, where the important message of harvest and how it is a time for sharing and thanks was explored through acrostic poems.
We really do appreciate all the contributions made from children, parents, carers and staff at the school. Thank you!”

By Madihah – Year 6

send us your stories about your “Harvest 2013″

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