Food bank thanks supporters as demand soars

TRUSTEES of Keynsham food bank have thanked members of the public for their ongoing generosity in making donations.

The statement of gratitude comes as the Trussell Trust released figures showing its network of food banks delivered 3.1 million emergency food parcels across the UK over the previous 12 months. This represents the highest number on record and a 94% increase compared to five years ago.

National trends have been replicated locally. Rising costs over the last year have led to an increase in referrals to the three food bank sites in Keynsham and Saltford, alongside a small drop-off in donations as donors face many of the same cost pressures.

Food bank users are referred by professionals like GPs and health visitors or agencies such as Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Welfare Support team.

In recent months, a partnership between the Trussell Trust and Citizens Advice has allowed residents visiting the food bank site at St Francis Church, Keynsham, to receive specialist advice on issues such as debt consolidation and accessing financial support. Offering face-to-face advice is one part of the Trussell Trust’s long-term aim to eliminate the need for food bank use altogether.

James Coldwell, a food bank trustee, said: “We’re very grateful for the donations residents across Keynsham and Saltford have made, even throughout the cost-of-living crisis.

“As trustees, we welcome the Trussell Trust’s renewed focus on reducing – and ultimately, eliminating – the need for food bank use.

“Reform to our social security system, better employment support, and investment in social housing will all be needed. But in the short term, the food bank continues to act as a lifeline for many people in our community.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has donated food or cash over the last year, and to the fantastic network of volunteers who ensure the food bank continues to operate.”

Residents can donate food at Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-op on Queens Road in Keynsham, and the Tesco Express in Saltford. For more information on the three food bank sites in Keynsham and Saltford, and how to get help, visit