The usage of food banks in the cities of Gloucester and Cheltenham has been increasing at almost 50 percent per year, and both independent as well as Trussell Trust locations are trying to meet the demands of the less fortunate in those cities and across Gloucestershire County. The charities may have parcels of food and groceries they are passing out or they provide sign posting to other programmes.
The main distribution centres in the area are below. The locations focus on helping the vulnerable with their basic needs, however they do rely on volunteers and donations from the community. So resources are limited. Residents of Gloucestershire with a voucher can receive help from a local foodbank, and this will come in the form of a parcel. There are also soup kitchens in the county for the homeless, young adults, and individuals living in poverty.
The food boxes will have different contents, depending on what was donated from restaurants, stores or individuals. A total of three days of goods will normally be in the box, and it can include tinned meats, coffee, tea, milk, soup, and fruits. There may also even be baby nappies.
Not-for profit and government food programmes
Countywide local welfare schemes in Gloucestershire can provide for basic needs, such as free food in an emergency, clothing, and other household goods. The scheme is available as a last resort, and council staff can refer residents to local not-for-profit food banks and other charities. Find more details on the Gloucestershire Local Welfare Reform Offer.
The Trussell Trust has food bank locations in North Cotswold. The items and support, including food, is provided from local churches, and people with a voucher can redeem them for a free parcel. The locations and hours in Gloucestershire County are below.
- Moreton Congregational Church is open Tuesday, 10.00-12.00.
- Bourton Baptist Church has distribution and collection of food on Thursdays from 10.00am – 4.00pm.
- Cotswold Christian Centre, Gretton Rd, Winchcombe. The centre is open both Tuesdays 1.30am – 3.00 pm as well as Fridays 11.00-12.30pm.
Roman Catholic Church Hall is another part of the network. This location is known as the Forest food bank centre, and is at 4 High Nash, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8HN. Telephone – 07775 265 263.
Residents of Stroud District can use the Trussell Trust foodbank at Enterprise Centre, Bath Road, A46. In a crisis, a parcel of food is passed out. The phone number is 01453 367 077.
South Gloucestershire District families can apply for a grant from the welfare scheme. The council will allow this to be used to pay for a box of food or groceries in an emergency. Other support will range from housing to budgeting advice, and the council can also give a voucher or signpost residents to local food banks in the district. Find details on South Gloucestershire welfare scheme.
Charities in Gloucestershire
The locations below rely on volunteers and donations from the community. Some of the charities or churches will also operate soup kitchens for people living in poverty. This will be in addition to the free food banks on site.
Cheltenham 1st Stop provides many services, and food or a meal is just one of them. They help people with a disability, homelessness, and others. Everything from a hot meal to shelter and vouchers are provided from the site at 301-305 High Street, Cheltenham. Call 01242 228999, or find more details on Cheltenham 1st Stop services.
County Community Projects runs a food share project. This is for residents in poverty and have some form of crisis that comes up, that prevents them from buying groceries. The Gloucestershire charity may offer a free food parcel of tinned goods, meat, and fresh foods, among other items. Find assistance from County Community Projects.
The Cheltenham location is at Elim Christian Centre and is open 11am until 1pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. The food bank will provide emergency assistance to the low income and vulnerable, if they have a voucher from CAB or a social worker. Meat, milks, fruits, non-perishable food and more is passed out. Address is 115-117 St George’s Road Cheltenham Glos. GL50 3EG, telephone 07715 413938.
Gear Projects and the Vaughan Centre help the homeless. Practical support, such as clothing and personal hygiene items, are provided along with tea, coffee, and a bag of groceries. There is also a health clinic on site. Address is 159 Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1EX, telephone – 01452 503710, or read more on GEAR Projects.
Gloucester food bank is at George Whitfield Centre, 107 Great Western Road. The centre is open all days of the week until 3 pm, except Tuesdays. People with a voucher can receive an emergency parcel of free food. Other services include signposting and referrals to local charities or government schemes. Volunteers pack the boxes of groceries passed out, and this location is seeing double digit increases in usage from the community. Phone to call for information is 01452 309683.
Holy Trinity Church serves the low income and vulnerable in Tewkesbury. Non-perishable canned goods and free parcels are available from the Trussell Trust site. The homeless can get a clothing or maybe blanket for nighttime, and this is in addition to food or a meal. Clients need a voucher, and resources and hours are limited. The post is Oldbury Road, and ring the church at 01684 439 471.