It is a sad fact that many people in the UK increasingly find themselves relying on food banks. Aberdeen, despite its wealth and status as the Oil Capital of Europe, is no exception.
Instant Neighbour has provided emergency food parcels to individuals in serious need for over twenty years. Whenever someone requests a food parcel, we carry out a brief, informal assessment of their needs – what has brought them to us; why do they need a parcel? – and provide a food parcel containing tinned and non-perishable food to last several meals.
From speaking to our clients, there appear to be many reasons why someone comes to us a for a parcel. These reasons may include:-
- late benefit payments;
- waiting for the first payment under new benefit claims;
- stopped benefit payments due to sanctions imposed;
- waiting for the first wage from new employment; and
- increased heating costs during the winter months.
Regrettably, many of the problems encountered by individuals coming to us are becoming more, rather than less prevalent. As such, we expect demand for food parcels to continue to increase.
In 2013, this rose to 3,051 parcels going to 970 different clients.
In 2014, this rose to 3,640 parcels going to 1,383 clients.
In 2015 we provided 3,877 food parcels to 1,237 different clients.
In 2016 we issued just over 5000 food parcels and so far in 2017 we have issued over 5,900 food parcels. We are estimating giving out around over 6,500 food parcels this year which represents a 30-35% increase in demand across the year.
Due to the increase in numbers and the need to do whatever we can to help people out of poverty, we regularly have advisers available at our food bank to speak to clients and provide them with practical assistance to overcome their difficulties. This allows us to do what we can to deal with the causes that bring clients to us in need of food assistance.
If you can help us to continue to deliver this vital service, Instant Neighbour and our clients would be grateful.
Here is a shopping list of non-perishable items that you can donate to our Food Bank;
- UHT or long life milk
- Tinned soup
- Tinned meat & fish
- Tinned vegetables
- Rice & pasta
- Jar sauces
- Tinned fruit
- Biscuits & snack bars
- Teabags & instant coffee
- Diluting juice
- Dog & cat food
- Basic Toiletries