Were you aware that Tring’s Foodbank is run from St Peter & St Paul Church? Each weekday from 10am-12pm the DENS Foodbank is open for Tring residents who are in need, with a team of 12 or so volunteers. There can be many reasons for this need – loss of income, delay in income, benefit delay, homelessness, domestic abuse and more but they all have the basic need of food.
We are really lucky in Tring that there are lots of people who donate so there are always plenty of foodstuffs and toiletries to deliver to the DENS foodbank office in Hemel Hempstead where the foodbank parcels are made up and collected by a volunteer for distribution at Tring church. A box is placed outside the church when the foodbank is open to donate foodstuffs and toiletries.
The foodbank is part of The Trussell Trust group and the idea is that a person should only need to receive 3 boxes in a 6-month period as it would be hoped that by that time they will be getting the help they need from social service teams. This is not always the case so volunteers have to make occasional judgement calls.
People can be sent by various social service groups or they can just turn up and ask for a parcel.
The parcels contain enough food for 3 days (single boxes) for an adult or 2 adults (a family box). Treats are also part of the box but there is no fresh food in the boxes as there isn’t the facility to store fresh food at the church. Toiletries are also not included in the boxes given out in Tring so a small supply of essentials like deodorant, shower gel, shampoo, dish washing liquid, soap powder etc is kept to supplement the boxes. They also get dog and cat food from DENS to distribute if the clients have pets.
It really is a lifeline to some people and everyone who comes is so grateful to be able to receive this service. During lockdown, foodbank requests increased by 700% due to lots of people being out of work. A lot of people had never been to a foodbank before so there was the embarrassment level but all of the volunteers are there to put clients at ease and not feel embarrassed. A DENS representative gave a talk and pointed out the few steps we are all away from becoming homeless – it’s scary to think about.
DENS has quite a surplus of food at the moment so they really need monetary donations (you can leave them with a volunteer and they will be given to DENS support when the food boxes are collected) or you can donate online. If you really don’t want to give money then please do check the high needs list on their website Donate Food & Household Items – DENS. There are only so many things you can do with pasta!
Trish Dowden of Tring Together said: ‘Thank you to everyone who has donated in goods, money or time – it really is a worthwhile thing you are doing. A big thank you to all the Foodbank volunteers who make this happen.’