Crisis help available from West Berkshire Foodbank

West Berkshire Foodbank Fran

Many people have been impacted financially by Covid 19, if you have lost your job or regular income, been furloughed or for whatever reason are struggling to put food on the table. If you can’t work due to illness or injury, or have one big bill: if your car broke down, how easily could you find £500 to get it fixed? A mistake on a claim form meaning you get nothing until it’s sorted out… a relationship breaks down …even something as simple as a change in the date of a direct debit payment can be enough to upset someone’s careful budgeting.

Fran Chamings from West Berkshire Foodbank explains how they can help at the moment of crisis – and there should be no shame in asking for help (see full interview below).

How much need is there round here? 
Since 01/04/20 Foodbank has provided 2,832 West Berkshire Residents with a 7 day Food parcel  – enough for over 59,000 meals. (People can get help more than once).

How do I donate food? 
In normal circumstances there are permanent collection points at churches, schools and supermarkets. But when lockdown hit Lesley from Dream Doors in Thatcham came up with the amazing idea of Foodbank on your Doorstep where people could leave donations on their doorstep for volunteers to collect. She organised a huge team of volunteers to collect a whopping total of 10,170kg of donations and take them to the warehouse. This equates to 21,357 meals, or one week of food for 1,017 people.

A great example of community stepping up for community and this initiative will grow in the future.

Foodbank on your Doorstep
If you would like to get involved in the Foodbank on your Doorstep scheme in your area, please contact or 07836 500610

As a lot of families are receiving food parcels at this time, West Berks Foodbank is keen to include as much fruit and veg as possible for the children’s nutrition.

If you grow your own in an allotment or your garden and you have surplus that you would like to donate, please email or text 07836 500610.


How do people get food? 
Please call the Food Crisis Line for help directly: 01635 760560, from 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays). One of our listeners will ask, your name, address and the number of people in your household. We then ask what are the change in circumstances that has led you to make the call. We check regarding allergies, dietary or religious requirements. They will also ask what extra’s you require, such as toiletries, sanitary wear or baby essentials. They will advise you that delivery is usually next day.

What food do you give out? 
Everything we give is long-life, dried or canned food. People are given enough food for 3 meals a day for 7 days, according to the size of the household. People can get help more than once if needed. This is delivered discreetly to your home address. We are including a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables when available.

Breakfast cereal; tinned soup & baked beans; pasta & sauce, tinned meat/ fish/ veggie, veg, instant mash, rice; tinned fruit, rice pudding, sponge puds, tinned/ instant custard; fruit juice; biscuits; tea, coffee or instant hot chocolate; long-life/ dried milk; washing up liquid, washing powder, toilet rolls and toiletries/ hygiene items, nappies; and a few treats when we can: chocolate biscuits, jam or squash.

For more information, visit


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