Bassetlaw Food Bank held its AGM on Thursday 16th June at The Well in Retford. A lot has changed for the charity in the last 12 months: they have launched new projects like the subsidised Fruit and Veg Boxes and the Lunch Club in Harworth, and thanks to a grant from the National Lottery the Food Bank has a secure home. This means they can look to the future.
The charity was established in 2012 to promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community in Bassetlaw and in the surrounding areas by the advancement of education, the protection and preservation of health and the relief of poverty, sickness and distress.
Reverend David Bean, the longest serving trustee of the Food Bank, took the opportunity to thank the trustees, staff and supporters of the Food Bank. He recalled that when Bassetlaw Food Bank was set up those involved hoped it wouldn’t be a permanent institution, but they are still not out of business and not likely to be any time soon. Today the Food Bank is as in-demand as ever, supporting residents in Bassetlaw.
In the past 12 months the charity has helped 2,837 adults and 1,455 children across 2,301 households.
The Chair of Trustees, Kevin Dukes, delivered a moving report reflecting on the past year: “We’re here again, wishing that the Food Bank wasn’t necessary, but the remit is not solely a Food Bank, it’s to support people. New projects work towards this remit, and the charity is always preparing to continue to support those in need.
“The numbers we support are growing and that is down to poverty. We fear that the steady increase will continue. Bassetlaw is a rural constituency which means we have lots of people who have ‘disappeared’. While there is a lot of support in the conurbations there are a growing number of people in rural settings struggling. This is a real problem for Bassetlaw. The charity has things in view to help the rural settings, who have never needed help before, who are too proud to ask, stuck at home or who can’t access help.
“I constantly thank the employees, for going above and beyond working evenings and weekends supporting projects and being a real credit to Bassetlaw Food Bank.
“Thank you to the Trustees; it is not an easy role, and the responsibility shouldn’t be glossed over. They are here with a hope to support the charity, and to be a critical friend.
“We know we can’t thank the volunteers enough. They are caring, cheery, always looking to help and support, questioning, engaging and positive. They are untiringly a fantastic group of people, and we want to put on record how much we appreciate them.
“Finally, thank you to the residents of Bassetlaw who really support us, who take us into their hearts. The donations we receive show the phenomenal level of support, through Just Giving, the market stall, donation points in supermarkets and businesses. Without that support we wouldn’t be where we are today.”