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.
Individuals can come to us for a food parcel once every two weeks if required. We provide food parcels only to individuals in particularly difficult circumstances, and do what we can to refer clients on to other agencies which may be able to help them through their difficulties.
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 2012, we provided 1,346 food parcels to 485 different clients.
- 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 5195 food parcels to 1270 different clients.
- In 2017 this rose again to 6905 parcels for 2443 different clients.
- In 2018 we gave out 6200 parcels to 2100 different clients.
- In 2019 we provided 5400 parcels to 1400 clients.
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.
How to donate to the food bank
Our foodbank is situated within our St Machar Drive premises and is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 16.00.
Non-perishable items that you can donate:
- 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