It began with the people of St Margaret’s collecting a few groceries in bags to be handed out to anyone calling at the Vicarage door for food. In 2010 the need was such that the parish founded the Oldham Foodbank. A few years later, with the help of Oldham Council, a shop was opened to distribute food. Demand increased and a redundant pub was used. In July 2020 and Lockdown 1, the Foodbank moved into two warehouses to respond to those needing food.
Over the years, local residents, supermarkets and businesses have gone beyond the call of duty to help us ensure that people do not go without food. Between January and November 2021, for example, 11,585 people have received a food parcel (7,039 adults and 4,546 children) thanks to a team of over 90 volunteers. Despite this generosity we are now buying food as well. Sadly, the signs are that the problems caused by food poverty will not be easing soon.
Many of us will never experience how humiliating it is to have to ask for food. Those accessing the Foodbank are ordinary people who, for whatever reason, can’t afford to buy food after paying the bills.
When people call the Foodbank, they don’t know sometimes that it’s a priest they are speaking to or that it will be a priest dropping off the parcel. But this is how God continues to feed the most vulnerable, as manna from heaven and Jesus in Holy Communion.
Donations to the Oldham Foodbank can be made via cheque to:
Oldham Foodbank, Unit B, Prince of Wales Industrial Units, Vulcan Street, Oldham OL1 4ER
Or for electronic transfers via:
Account: Oldham Foodbank
A/c number: 65562075
Sort Code: 08-92-99