Manchester Central Foodbank, the first student-led foodbank in the country, was established almost five years ago as a project of the Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy. Over the last five years the foodbank has provided food for over 14,300 individuals, of whom over 5,400 were children. And in the last six months alone it has provided food for over 2,000 people, of whom over 700 were children.
As the fifth anniversary approaches, foodbank manager Amy Wisenfeld was asked if she could foresee a time when foodbanks are no longer required. “It would be great to imagine a new future, where food poverty is tackled at its root cause, and individuals and families are free from the pain of hunger.
“We would be delighted to put ourselves out of business. But for now there is a very pressing need to continue to provide practical support to our local community through the provision of food parcels, and we are dedicated to doing that in the most effective way possible. It seems apparent that food poverty is not abating, and until it is eradicated altogether, we must continue to help those in our community who need it the most.”
This anniversary is being marked with an important new arrival – the first foodbank van. The foodbank team were given a small grant by the Jesuit Fund for Social Justice to buy their first vehicle to support collection and management of food donations, ultimately freeing up time in the team for tackling the systemic issue of food poverty.
Amy explained what a difference the van would make: “It will open new doors for donations and allow us to pick up large donations at short notice, and to transport stock to and from our off-site warehouse. We are so grateful for the incredible generosity of the Jesuit Fund for Social Justice for their continued support to our work. Without them, this would have remained a figment of our imagination! We look forward to continuing from our base at the Catholic Chaplaincy, to serve our local community, and to respond to God’s call for us to care for the least, the last and the lost.”
Find out how to support the Manchester Central Foodbank based at the Catholic chaplaincy with donations of food, time or money by visiting their website