Here’s a heads up about how our local Food Bank works, & what other support is available to families & individuals who live in Portishead & surrounding areas. While more families are struggling, there are equally many families, individuals, community groups & business who are currently able to offer support.
Food Bank – Portishead
Food Bank in Portishead is part of the Clevedon & District Foodbank. They usually work out of one depot in Clevedon where all donated food is stored, & where food parcels are made up. Collection points are located in Clevedon, Nailsea, Yatton & Portishead. During the current situation there has been a much larger demand, so Portishead is currently running as a mini depot itself, collecting donations from the public directly at no4 Combe Road and also from the donation boxs in both Sainsburys & Co-op in Portishead. The Waitrose Portishead donation box is collected by the North Bristol Foodbank, which serves nearby Bristol.
Food Bank plus
In March I joined the team at Foodbank to help out during lockdown. The first week I was due to start, & not realising they don’t generally have fresh food donations, I called Brakes, a local food wholesaler based in Portbury. They kindly gave me some fresh produce to take along. Since then they have been supporting Portishead Foodbank every single week. These weekly donations of fresh produce & packaged food vary depending on what’s available, & we’ve been able to set this up outside, as an additional offering to anyone coming along to Foodbank. You’ll usually find us alongside No4 Combe Road, unless it’s raining, when we operate just inside the side door. While it’s great to be able to offer fresh produce, we can only accept it on a Friday morning, before Foodbank opens from 12 till 2pm. We occasionally receive other fresh donations from the community, sometimes directly from allotments, but this can only be dropped off on a Friday morning. (These additional items can be accessed without a Foodbank voucher, & are not part of the standard Foodbank parcels). We’re very lucky to have Brakes supporting Portishead Foodbank.
How do I get a Food Bank Voucher?
You can get vouchers (and in many cases e-vouchers) from many different providers depending on who is relevant to you.
All schools in Portishead
Harbourside Family Practice – 01275 868 500
Portishead Medical Group – 01275 841630
Alliance Living Support – 0300012 1447
Sovereign Housing Association – 0300 500 0926
Citizens Advice Dedicated Food voucher line – 0808 208 2138 (10am – 1pm, Monday to Friday)
Portishead Children’s Centre – 01275 884001
Portishead Youth Centre 01275842461
St Peter’s Church 01275 846230
High Street Methodist Church 01275 844917
Gordano Valley Church 01275 847032
When & where can I use my voucher?
You can use your voucher at any of these centres:
Monday – Clevedon
Thursday – Yatton
Friday – Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea
For all opening times & locations, check out the Clevedon & District Foodbank page of the Trussell Trust Website
How can I get in touch with the Portishead Foodbank team?
You can call on 07379 891130 or you can message them over on Facebook Portishead Foodbank Information Page
The team are all local volunteers, so will get back to you as soon as they can.
Still unsure about using Food Bank?
Here’s what our clients would like to say to you:
Children Self Isolating & missing their Free School Meals
If your child/children receive free school meals and are asked by their school to isolate and not attend school, Foodbank have asked the school to issue your family with a Foodbank voucher. If this hasn’t happened, please contact the school. You need to speak to the person in charge of issuing Foodbank vouchers and they should be aware of what you are asking for. In many cases the school will issue e-vouchers so they should be able to sort you out over the phone. This will enable you to get a food parcel to suit your needs. Obviously if your child is sent home it may not coincide with our normal Foodbank Friday but please don’t worry. If you contact us on 07379 891130 you will get through to the Foodbank team member manning the phone. We will ask you a few questions to ascertain what you need and ensure that you get help. As isolation is normally for two weeks we will supply you with the same help the following week.
We are aware that sometimes the person in charge of the Foodbank vouchers at the school may also be off due to Covid, so its not a perfect system! In that case ask the school to phone us on the Foodbank phone 07379 891130 or on the GVC church number 01275847032. We can help them to sort it out.
Will Foodbank be OPEN over the Christmas Holiday?
Foodbank is usually open every Friday, but for two weeks over the Christmas period our Foodbank in No 4 Combe Road, Portishead will be open on
School Holiday Childrens Lunches
(this was the situation for October half term – this will be updated again before the Christmas holidays)
The school holidays can be a time of additional need, particularly if you usually receive free school meals. If your child is entitled to free school meals please ask your school for a “lunchbag” Foodbank voucher a week or so before the school holidays. This entitles you to come to Foodbank and collect a pack that has been made up to help you while your child is at home over half term. A typical bag will contain cereal, baked beans, tuna, pasta, drinks, snacks etc. You will also get a family essentials pack with tea/coffee, shampoo, shower gel, soap, jam etc. which we hope helps out. You can collect one lunch bag per child.
Since October Half Term there have also been local businesses who have stepped up to offer support for families in need by providing free meals or lunch bags for children.
I’ve come across two resources where businesses who are offering free lunches can be found. I’d recommend contacting the business direct first, just to double check.
In Portishead during October Half Term these local businesses have offered lunches for children:
Fill Good Pantry, 42a High Street
The Corner Cafe, 166 High Street
The Royal Inn, Pier Road
The Windmill Inn, 58 Nore Road
Pill, Ham Green & Easton-in-Gordano Food Bank
This independent food bank is located in Pill. You can find out more over on their Facebook Page or contact James Addis at Salvation Army 07827 032219
Debt Help locally from CAP
CAP is an award winning charity offering free debt counselling & practical assistance. They can work with both yourself & your creditors to work towards you becoming debt free.
You can contact them for free on their National Helpline Number 0800 3280006
If you live in Clevedon, Nailsea or Portishead you can also call our local Debt Centre Manager Joanna 07568 354880