Every day people in the UK struggle to pay for food for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill. Being able to obtain a box of food can make a huge difference to a family’s well being. That is why your PCC supported the Swindon Foodbank from the very beginning.
The Trussell Trust is behind a network of over 420 foodbanks across the UK. Until recently, Swindon was one of them.
Serious Problems PCC was very concerned to learn last year that TheTrussell Trust was parting company with the Swindon Foodbank. Very little information was made known. The Trussell Trust chose to terminate the partnership for reasons they chose not to disclose publicly. Foodbank ceased to operate under that name. A new group was formed soon after – The Swindon Food Collective. It bought the vans and continued the work.
PCC felt that, as stewards of your money, it could not immediately support the new organisation financially. We just did not know enough about those in charge or what their connections had been with Foodbank. Was it the same people operating under a different name? PCC gave instead to the Archbishop’s Credit Union, providing loans to the poor.
Last week one of the leaders of the new Swindon Food Collective met the Swindon Anglican clergy, so that we could learn the full facts about this new group. We heard many good things. The new trustees have recently acquired charitable status, have received strong support from Swindon Borough Council and have a welcome commitment to transparency and accountability.
There will be an open meeting of the Deanery Synod on Thursday 28th Feb (see below) to which church and PCC members will be invited so they can hear what those who have taken on responsibility for the new Swindon Food Collective have to say.
Funding is essential to the operation. If we continue to give only food, it will not survive. However, after the collapse of Foodbank in undisclosed circumstances, a great deal of trust has been lost. It needs to be re-established.
We encourage anyone with an interest in the Food Collective to come to that meeting to hear Clare. If you have questions to ask, this is the right place to ask them.
Thursday, 28th February 7:30pm (Lydiard Millicent Church)