Poems for Food Banks

In this call we are looking for poems about food banks. It is not all about food. I want a heap of poems that draw on what you know about food banks. What do we need to give instead of pasta and baked beans? How do we give to babies, the elderly and young children, in terms of nappies, toothpaste, deodorant? Your poems say it all.

You write. We all read. We all vote by likes. The poem with the most likes has a cheque donated in the poet’s name to Nourish Food Bank Tunbridge Wells for £50. Do question how each region needs food banks, even those in a place you think wealthy actually has people who totally rely on their support.

Poems will be posted from now until July 12th. Winner declared mid-July.



Who we support

Nourish is a registered charity that provides short-term emergency provisions, support and signposting in a crisis to individuals and families within the borough of Tunbridge Wells, South Tonbridge and the surrounding areas.

We work on a strict referral only basis from front line professionals, such as health professionals, social workers, family liaison officers, housing support workers, keyworkers, police, voluntary agencies such as CAB and Age UK TW and community referrers. We currently work with over 100 such agencies in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge who must adhere to our referral policies and this ensures that any need is genuine.

We are managed by a board of trustees who are extremely active in the day to day running but we also have a contracted Operations Manager, Assistant Operations Manager and Warehouse Manager, all of whom work part time and are invaluable in our operation.

We work extremely closely with all our referral agents to ensure ongoing support is received by all beneficiaries in order to determine and hopefully eliminate the core cause of the crisis. We strive to discourage a culture of dependency, preferring to support families and individuals in crisis until they are able to move on. Our policy is to issue a maximum 12 bags to a family or individual in any 12-month period.

In 2016-2017, 81% of our referrals were for people using our service three times or less.

Our relationship base with our referral agents also enable us to signpost our clients to longer term support and advice and help people acquire skills, including cooking, budgeting and dietary skills, as well as employment & training advice.

From an operational perspective, we differ from other foodbanks in that we deliver food parcels to our beneficiaries. We currently maintain four storage units at Big Yellow Self Storage in Tunbridge Wells, one of which is fully funded by Big Yellow and we have an amazing team of volunteers that deliver food parcels throughout the area that we cover. This aids client confidentiality, enables us to operate with minimal overheads and also helps with the more practical side of someone in crisis turning up at a centre and trying to get home with lots of supplies, especially as we cover such a large area.

We also signpost to longer-term support and advice and help people acquire skills, including cooking, budgeting and dietary skills, as well as employment & training advice.

It’s not just about food. The consequences of food poverty can be far reaching, including increased crime, loss of tenancies, mental health problems and family breakdown. Nourish can help provide more positive outcomes by offering a period of respite and an opportunity for change.

How We Help

Behind every one of these statistics is a story. They are all different. The following are just some of the stories from people we have helped this past year. Please note, all names have been changed.

“I just wanted to thank you so very much for the bags of food i received today. I’m so very grateful and humbled by the kindness of others. Please pass on my thanks to all concerned”
“Quite simply it has saved us! The kindness of strangers has been humbling, and reduced me to tears (for once, not from worry!). I cannot thank you all enough.”

What It Means To Our Referral Agencies

“DAVSS was delighted at the very swift response to an urgent request for food for a domestic abuse survivor who only had tea bags and sugar in her cupboard for a week, until she received money due to her. The request went to Nourish mid afternoon and by 4.45 pm, a food parcel had been delivered to her door with the promise of a further delivery  4 days later to make sure she did not go without. This swift response was all that we could hope for – Nourish provided food yet again for someone in real need when there was no-one else to turn to. Thank you so much for providing this vital service”

“A special thank you to yourselves at Nourish Foodbank and your doubtless numerous supporters for enabling myself and Crossroads to support one of our very elderly patients with cognitive problems and help ensure her welfare. This lady has no relatives or close associates to assist and her former employer with whom she remains on good terms has had major health problems recently and has not been able to have any input.”

“John  has received your food parcel and has asked me to email you to thank you for everything,  you literally stepped in when he was at his lowest point and enabled me to help him to sort out his multiple issues while being able to safeguard his welfare. The process is so easy and I thank you for yet again being on the other end of the phone at an ungodly hour!”

 Could Nourish Help You?

To qualify for help, families and individuals have to be referred to Nourish by a professional care organisation, such as Social Services, DAVSS, Local housing groups, Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK etc. We also work with Churches, Schools and Doctors Surgeries.

If you feel that you are in need of the service provided by Nourish Community Foodbank then please speak to your GP, Social services, your care provider or the CAB.

Your GP or relevant agency can then refer you onto Nourish and we will be in touch.



The Latest
News /Events

Harvest 2017 at Nourish
Childrensalon Dragon Boat 2017
Samsonite bags 4 sale! Grab a bargain!
Tunbridge Wells Scouts Collection…

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5 thoughts on “Poems for Food Banks”

  1. What a wonderful idea, I volunteered for our local one a couple of years ago. The experience of delivering the boxes was very moving. I’ll see what I can do. Rachael Clyne

  2. This is a great idea Abegail. Like Hilaire, it’s a pity we need to do this but like Poets on the PIcket Line, we must support the people affected by today’s austerity. I previously had the idea of being a poet-in-residence at a food bank, but my anxiety stopped me from doing it. Best of luck with submissions. Peter

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