How you can help

We are always looking for help from the rest of the community. You can do your bit to help the Lincoln Community Larder in several ways.

Donations

Donate on-line – this can be done easily by logging on to: www.btplc.com/mydonate, then select ‘Donate to Charity’ where you can enter our name and that will take you to our page. Please remember to Gift Aid your donation.

Cash – we are always happy to accept money, cheques, notes – even bags of coins regularly come our way. Cheques should be made payable to Lincoln Community Larder. £12.00 will pay for the food for a single person for three days.

Food – PLEASE NO KIDNEY BEANS, CHICK PEAS, LENTILS ETC we have enormous stocks of these, they are very unpopular and are only of real use to people who cook proper meals.

We love people to give us food, please see Food Donation (Items we Need) for details of the type of food which is most useful, but a quick summary is tinned fruit, rice pudding, meats, hot dogs, UHT milk, breakfast cereals…. Many churches and schools organise Harvest Festival collections so over this period we take in a huge amount of donations.

You can drop your donations off at the Larder during our main opening hours, Tuesdays and Fridays 1.30 – 3pm. If you would like us to collect from you, please call us on the Larder mobile: 07914655460 or email us on lincolncommunitylarder@hotmail.co.uk

The food we purchase each week from the supermarket is generally from their basic own brand which offers excellent value for money – and pricewise, can’t be beaten, even in the cash and carry!

Toiletries – we also distribute basic toiletries to our customers if they require them. If you can’t afford to eat, chances are you can’t afford to buy the necessary to keep clean and sweet smelling – which is important if you want to find employment.
We are happy to take soap, shampoo, shower gel, disposable razors, deodorants, handy packs of tissues, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary items.


Ideas

A few companies in Lincoln have taken on the idea of donating food, or money, instead of buying Christmas cards for each other in the office.

Reverse Advent Calendar – this is a suggestion that has been doing the rounds on social media. On each day of December you pop an item into a box, such as a tin of fruit, a pasta sauce etc. Whatever you think would be useful and then donate this to a foodbank just before or just after Christmas. As far as we’re concerned, early January would be just fine.

When you’re in the supermarket and they have a ‘buy one get one free’ offer, donate the free one to the Larder.

Any further ideas would be most welcome.


Volunteering

We are always looking for volunteers for a variety of roles. Ideally you need to be fairly fit and if you’re computer literate, so much the better.

We need people to help with fundraising; picking up donations; helping with supermarket collections; packing away donations – especially at Harvest Festival time and many other behind the scenes tasks to help keep us stocked up and in the public eye.

We do have a policy that you can’t be on both sides of the counter and for that reason we cannot accept volunteers who are current customers of the Community Larder.


Frequently asked questions -

Q: I see people coming away from the Larder and other foodbank type organisations with branded goods. Why is this?
A: The reason is simply because these branded goods have been donated by members of the public. Anything we buy in is from the supermarket’s own basic range.

Q: Where does the rest of the food come from?
A: We shop on line and have a large delivery from Sainsbury’s every Tuesday.

Q: Do you have to pay for this?
A: Oh yes, and no we don’t get any discount, but Sainsbury’s do very generously give us bread once a week that is almost at its sell by date. We are very grateful for this.

Q: Does any other company give you anything?
A: Yes, we get potatoes given to us by Branston Potatoes every week. ASDA in North Hykeham have a trolley by their checkout on a permanent basis which attracts a lot of donations and is very welcome.

Q: How much food is donated by the public?
A: It is difficult to quantify but we get a lot of donations of food. Every week we take in bags full from church groups, clubs and individuals. We would struggle to keep going without these donations.

Q: Do you ever experience any problems from clients?
A: It is very unusual to find someone who is aggressive or rude. We do however have the occasional problem with people altering the vouchers, adding in extra children or adults, but we usually spot this.

Q: What action do you take if this happens?
A: Anyone falsifying a voucher will find themselves banned from using the Larder for a period of time, but not less than one year. We also reserve the right to inform the Police and take further action if we believe it is necessary. This doesn’t happen that often.

Q: What would you most like to see donated regularly?
A: Tinned fruit, stews/curries/meatballs, UHT milk, coffee, hot dogs, tuna. These are the items we are having to purchase most weeks.

Q: What category of people do you see most of?
A: Single men is the biggest group.

Q: Can people just turn up and be given food?
A: Only if they have a Larder Voucher. It would be very unusual for us to give out food without a Voucher.

Q: How do you know that people aren’t getting food from more than one charity.
A: There are only two major sources of food for people in need in Lincoln, ourselves and the Foodbank, which comes under the banner of the Trussell Trust and is administered by ACTS Trust, part of the Alive Church. We do try to cross check with the Foodbank to check we are not being exploited but so far we haven’t any evidence that this is happening.

Q: I’ve seen people arriving at the Larder by car. Surely if they can afford a car they can afford to feed themselves.
A: It may well not be their own car, they may be being helped out by a relative, friend or neighbour. If it is their car bear in mind that if someone loses their job, and then sell their car to provide money for basic living expenses, that may have a huge impact on their ability to find work in the future. People who run cars yet need to get food from the Larder usually do so for only a limited period.

Q: Do you do anything special for Christmas?
A: We keep back suitable food from Autumn onwards, things such as tinned ham, salmon, luxury biscuits, Christmas puddings, chocolate, children’s sweets etc. Depending on what funding we have we might also buy in some extras, eg satsumas, cakes, cheeses, mince pies, chocolate tree decorations….


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