Brightlingsea Foodbank supplies emergency food parcels to families or individuals in crisis who cannot afford enough food for themselves or their families. It's a satellite of Colchester Foodbank and is part of the Trussell Trust’s national network of Foodbanks.
Clients turn to the Foodbank, which has been running since December 2015, for help because of a whole range of unforeseen situations. These include sudden loss of income through redundancy, lack of work on zero hours contracts, benefits changes, accidents, illness, unexpected caring responsibilities, home break-ups and many more. These reasons have all at least doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic volunteers delivered food parcels directly to clients’ homes every week, but the face-to-face service has now resumed on Wednesday mornings at the Parish Hall.
Clients seeking help are asked – if possible – to call any of the contact numbers below on Tuesdays if they need a food parcel the next day. This advance notice means that fresh food can be bought and added to the packs.
The Foodbank also directs clients to other agencies or organisations which might be able offer further assistance for their specific issues – and there's always a welcome cup of tea or coffee and chat on offer, with everything conducted in the strictest confidence.
Cash donations from Brightlingsea residents, along with grants from Essex County Council and the Essex Association of Local Councils, help the Foodbank supplement basic grocery parcels of tins and packets, with fresh food. This money has also helped some clients with much-needed school clothes, as well as assisting with heating or other household fuel costs, such as logs, electricity etc.
The continuing generosity of Brightlingsea people is greatly appreciated and enables the Foodbank to give the best help it can to those in extremely difficult times.