Beyond CSR: Cleckheaton Food Bank

We understand that seeing the positive outcomes enabled by your donations to charity can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but many people who give to charity never get to see where their donation ends up, or the real-life impact.

That is why One Community invites its donors to join them on visits to funded projects.

Recently a visit was arranged to Cleckheaton Food Bank, a crucial hub for emergency food provision in the area. The visit highlighted the stark reality faced by many families and individuals who are food insecure.

Volunteers explained that the food bank accepts self-referrals as well as referrals from agencies, all recounted stories highlighting the severity of the situations people find themselves in.

Volunteers explained that the food bank accepts self-referrals as well as referrals from agencies, all recounted stories highlighting the severity of the situations people find themselves in.

Dilys who has volunteered at the food bank since it opened told us, that many households being supported included individuals with disabilities or serious mental health issues, rendering them unable to work. And about the desperation of those seeking help, often having to choose between buying food or basic utilities like electricity and gas.

The visit underscored the vital role of the food bank in providing emergency support, offering up to six parcels per household in six months.

With over three years of experience, Cleckheaton Food Bank has evolved into an efficient organisation with robust procedures and policies. They emphasised the importance of avoiding dependency while fulfilling their primary function as an emergency provision. Donors learned about the community’s respect and value for the organisation’s services, appreciating their efforts to provide information and signpost clients to additional support.

Richard Bradley, CEO of acceptcards who joined the visit said, “It was humbling to join Chair of Trustees Ian Brierley and CEO Emma Woods-Bolger, who introduced us to Dilys, Cleckheaton Foodbank and Yahya, Purpose of Life (Batley) who are on the front line in the battle against poverty, being able to listen to stories from them both hits home that without their vital services how many people’s lives would be unbearable.

We are proud that our £5,000 donation to the One Community Foundation Kirklees was doubled by them and used to support the food bank’s work across their North Kirklees communities.”

Emma Woods-Bolger said “Through these visits, One Community successfully engages donors in understanding the critical nature of the work carried out by food banks in the face of crises. Donors witnessed first-hand the impact of their contributions and gained insight into the diverse approaches taken by different organisations to address food insecurity and its underlying causes.”

“However there is still more to do, needs in the communities across Kirklees have risen sharply, and we have a 57% gap between demand and available funds and as pressures on local communities intensify we will likely see this increase.”

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