Service and dignity: two years of The Bay Foodbank


From left: Richy Johnson, Revd Alan Dickinson, Jackie Dickinson, Ruth Stradling, Una Miller

From left: Richy Johnson, Revd Alan Dickinson,
Jackie Dickinson, Ruth Stradling, Una Miller



The Bay Foodbank, which serves people in need in North Tyneside, held an open day at its distribution centre at the end of February.

Marking two years since its February 2012 launch, the foodbank was the initiative of The Bay Church and is now supported by all the major Christian churches in the area. It has been helped by local fundraising charity Angels of the North (Bishop Martin is its Patron).

Applications for food parcels can by referred by any of the churches, and many of them also host boxes to collect groceries and donations for the foodbank.

Pastor of the Bay Church the Revd Alan Dickinson recalls how five units (boxes) were distributed in the foodbank's first month; typically it now delivers 500 a month.

“We pick up items from churches, supermarkets, hospitals, council premises,” explains Alan.
“And we buy about £5,000 worth of supplies each week for around £700 from the charity His Food in Lincolnshire (which receives surplus stock from the food industry).

“The general public make donations and volunteer - people who are out of work or with health issues, school students; all sorts.

“Some of the supermarkets are very generous indeed with short-dated food that's perfectly good - and we don't keep it long.

With its spacious warehouse, The Bay Foodbank is able to help other local foodbanks too, with storage or with moving surplus stocks to where they are most needed.

“This work brings the churches together across the denominations in a way that focusses on compassion," says Alan. "The food is the focus – you might ask, ‘What Would Jesus Deliver!’

“We make sure our clients keep a high level of dignity - there's nothing in the box about faith, and we simply deliver to them."

The Foodbank has won great credibility with North Tyneside Council. “They’ve found funding for us and they invite me in to talk about various issues,” says Alan.

The Bay Foodbank welcomes offers of help of all kinds and from people of all faiths or none.
“You could pack boxes, be a driver, collect donations, be a representative in your church, or just be a Friend supporting us with money, prayers or both.”



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