THE number of food parcels distributed by Slough Foodbank has doubled in the last two years, recent figures have shown.

The charity, which provides emergency food to people in crisis, reflects on how the pandemic has had a significant impact on its services.

Slough Foodbank has seen a 54% increase in the number of food parcels distributed in the last two years.

The statistics for 2021 show a total of 7,365 parcels were distributed, which was a 13% increase compared to 2020.

The food bank provided food parcels for 4,708 adults, which was also a 13% increase from the previous year.

And 2,657 children received the packages, a 12% increase compared to 2020.

Slough Foodbank communications officer, Becks Ford, said: “We are immensely grateful to all of our donors, supporters, stakeholder organisations, volunteers and staff for all the hard work and efforts they have put in to ensure we could remain open throughout the pandemic and have sufficient food to provide emergency, three-day non-perishable, nutritionally balanced food parcels to those in food poverty crisis.”

Referral agencies can issue individuals or families who are eligible with a voucher.

And the number of vouchers issued in 2021 were 3,517, which was a 16% increase since 2020.

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The food banks’ prime function is to supply a three-day emergency food parcel to those who suddenly find themselves in an unexpected crisis. 

And it also supplies basic toiletries, household products, as well as nappies, baby wipes and pet food if required.

Ford added: “We continue to see hopelessness as many just do not know what the future might hold and struggle with benefit delays and changes, low income, debt, job losses and homelessness.

“Sadly, these statistics for 2021 show there is lots for us to do to ensure we can provide food during a time of crisis and continue to help raise the profile of food poverty and lobby for those who are in need.

Slough Foodbank also provided 305 emergency fuel vouchers for home gas or electricity to clients who qualify for food parcels, and who top up their meter at a pay point or a post office.

This enables clients to cook the food the food bank provides or to heat their homes.

Due to an increase in fuel costs, many clients face the decision of whether to eat or heat their homes.

Ford explained: “It is vitally important that we remain committed to supply food, basic toiletries, home fuel and share our hope and encouragement that the community cares.”

Operating six days a week, Slough Foodbank has five distribution centres in Slough town centre, Langley, Cippenham, Iver and Britwell.

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This month, the charity is asking for residents to donate certain items as part of its January Wish List.

The list includes instant mash, tinned, meat, long-life custard, long-life fruit juice and coffee.

And it’s also encouraging donations of toothpaste and shaving foam/gel.

These items are on top of what the foodbank always require, which includes tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, long-life milk, pasta sauce and long-life rice pudding.

It also accepts shampoo, deodorant, washing up liquid, razors, and strong carrier bags.

Slough Foodbank is always looking for new volunteers to help with its services.

And its currently looking for afternoon drivers and home delivery drivers to come forward.

To volunteer, visit: