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North Guildford Food Bank Has Been Operating for 10 Years

Published on: 1 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 3 Nov, 2022

The North Guildford Food Bank has now been supporting people for 10 years – yes, that’s right 10 years!

It’s base is at St Clare’s Church in Park Barn and normally has two further food banks – at the New Hope Centre in Bellfields, and at the Bushy Hill Community Centre in Merrow.

Pictured at the tea party, from left: the team vicar at St Clare’s Church, the Rev Steve Pownall; the chairman of the trustees of the North Guildford Food Bank, Jo Woodhouse; trustee Zoe Watts; founder Ann Mather; treasurer Les Smith; the Mayor of Guildford, Dennis Booth; assistant archdeacon, the Diocese of Guildford, the Rev Claire Isherwood; the Mayoress, Mary Booth; the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux.

On Saturday, October 15, it held a tea party by way of a celebration to thank its important volunteers for their efforts over the past decade.

Ann Mather, who set up the North Guildford Food Bank, said the tea party was attended by about 90 volunteers, both past and current, who very much appreciated the support and attendance of the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, and the Mayor of Mayoress of Guildford, Dennis Booth and Mary Booth.

The food bank at St Clare’s Church is open on Tuesdays from 1pm to 2pm, on Wednesdays from 9.15am to 10.45am, and on Fridays from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

St Clare’s Church’s food bank is open currently instead of the Bellfields venue, on Thursdays with collections at 5pm and deliveries from 5.15pm.

The food bank at Bushy Hill Community Centre in Merrow is open on Thursdays from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.

It’s website states: “We receive non-perishable food from local churches, supermarkets, schools and businesses to make up food parcels. Various agencies such as Citizens Advice, Social Services, Council etc, then refer people to us who are experiencing short-term financial difficulties.

“To get a food parcel you will need an online referral – for details please see the ‘How to get a referral’ tab.  Please do not come without prior arrangement. We can deliver where necessary.”

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has published a number of stories about Guildford’s food banks over the years (the Salvation Army also operates a food bank hub at its base in Woodbridge Road, Guildford).

Click here for one of the earlier stories.

Here for a story from September 2021, reporting food bank use in Guildford had seen a six-fold increase.

And here for an opinion piece by Guildford’s Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, Zoe Franklin, from May 2022.

For the North Guildford Food Bank’s website, click here.

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