"Glastonbury Bridging the Gap" is a local charity originating from Churches Together and with trustees from the Churches. We provide food parcels and occasionally shelter packs to local people facing a financial crisis to help bridge them through their difficult time. The charity covers Glastonbury, Street and their associated post code areas, BA6 and BA16.
Food parcels are only distributed to those referred by local agencies who know the needs and situation of those they refer. These include Social Services, Care Agencies, the Job Centre and Citizens Advice Bureau. If you would like to support the project donations of non perishable food items are welcome. Foods that we use are listed on the Food bank needs page, which also shows which items are in short supply.
Your donations can be brought to any of the Churches in Glastonbury or to our collection box in Morrison's store, we also have a donations box in Earthfare in Glastonbury High Street. Donation points in Street are under review. If you wish to make a large food donation or hand over items collected by your organisation please contact us using the details below. Lists of the goods in greatest need are available from the Churches or the collection box, please use these lists to help us balance our supply so that we in turn can provide a balanced food parcel. Cash donations are also welcome to defray the cost of fresh food purchased on the day the food parcels are delivered. Your cash donation can be boosted by the taxman by filling in a Foodbank Gift Aid Form.
If you would like to know more the charity can be contacted on 07980 458600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also contact us if you can volunteer your time for example as a deliverer.
The charity has reached the size where registration with the charity commision is required, to do this the trustees have prepared a revised constitution to be introduced following the Annual General Meeting on 5th June 2018. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations in May 2018 the trustees have developed Data Protection Information.
"Reasons for Bridging the Gap"
As a foodbank the charity is not a long term source of food. When events lead to a temporary hardship the foodbank provides the supplies to bridge the gap until the situation can be normalised. This may mean help is provided on more than one occasion to some recipients.
Most people hope that we live in a caring community where those who fall on hard times will be provided with what they need for daily living. There are many reasons for such hard times: it may be loss of work, illness, carer's responsibilities or debt that has creeped up. However the welfare provision in this country is become less of a safety net and more of a stressful constraint as it tries to tackle abuse of the system, the need to lessen the welfare bill due to the nation's deficit, and the desire to have as full employment as possible including parents.
Delays in processing of benefit payments and decisions about which benefit can mean people living without any income for some time. Caps on benefits can lead to people and families losing their homes as they can no longer afford them. Sanctions when benefits are stopped for a period due to non-compliance are leading to more people, especially families, needing the support of charities like ‘Bridging the Gap'.
It is important while practically supporting people in need to also bring greater awareness of those government changes to tax and benefits that may take us further from being a caring community and further into an increasingly unequal society. Greater understanding will mean people can express to their MP's and other decision makers the impact changes in policy are having amongst people living their daily lives. This too is a way we can grow a more caring community alongside providing food and necessities.