What’s Going on at the Food Bank?


First and foremost, I want to thank all our volunteers and wider supporters from across the town for the fantastic efforts over the years. Its always hard to take the next step, but we feel that with your continued support we can; so what is going on?

We are swapping completely from our current delivery of food boxes to people’s homes in favour of a collection model, enabling greater ‘face time’ with our neighbours who use the food bank.  We aim to provide a warm, welcoming space in which individuals can feel less isolated and share their own journeys and offer mutual support.  We will provide the opportunity for interaction with trained befrienders, other volunteers and support and advice services.  There will also be internet access for on-line DWP accounts, utility accounts, job search etc.

This ‘Food and Community Hub‘ will enable more immediate referral to other Hope for Belper projects, as well as signposting to other external help, based on an individual’s circumstances.  One of the biggest reasons for the change, is to come alongside and support those who find themselves regularly turning to the food bank and perhaps in some cases feeling overly dependent on it.

We will have the use of a kitchen for tea & coffee and light refreshments, and in the not too distant future we are looking to augment our CAP Life Skills course, through extra cooking on a budget sessions.

We will be moving on the weekend of the 2nd/3rd March and it will be all hands on deck!  But right now its planning, planning, planning and if you want more information you can email us at hopeforbelper@gmail.com

Finally, over the ten years the food bank has been running, we have not specifically asked the community for money, although many have given money as well as donations of food, but if you would like to contribute to this big change you can use the DONATE button at the top of our Facebook page.

Many Thanks again for all your support, and we will continue to try and update everyone as to how the transformation is going and anything else you can do to help.

Gareth Greenwood – Chair

The Basic Idea: Help urgently needed

Hi all and sorry for long but important post

Just two weeks ago, The Basic Idea had a week with 17 referrals (10 more than the average week in 2016); we hope this was a blip, but as you can see the shelves have taken quite a hammering.

Can we ask that all our very generous and regular supporters, make an even bigger effort to focus on the items of which we are desperately short, and if asked by others let them know too.

Tinned Carrots, Garden Peas, Sweetcorn and Green Beans
Tinned Bolognaise, Chili, Mild Curry and Meatballs
Packets of Rice, Sponge Puddings, Fruit Cocktail and Rice Pudding

We cannot store and do not need any more Baked Beans / Tinned Fish / Tinned Soup / Packets of Pasta

Just a few weeks ago, the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) found that there were now in excess of 2000 food-banks operating across the UK – whether we like it or not in most towns and cities across our nation, food-banks are a simple fact of life; the norm not the exception.

Over last year in Belper and surrounding area, the most frequent reason for requiring help was benefit delay accounting for 22% of referrals – this increased to 30% for all benefit related referrals last year.  Debt accounted for a further 20% with the next biggest being 19% of referrals due to families struggling on low incomes.

Our experience is telling us that as much as half of the food-bank use in Belper and the surrounding villages could be avoided by a fairer and more functional welfare system, as well as the eradication of the tyranny of low pay that does not afford even the most frugal of families the ability to pay the bills, and feed and clothe themselves, never mind having a little left over with which to make the most basic of choices.  On top of that, just yesterday, in the case of lone parents with children under two, the courts have judged the benefit cap, that was brought in some time ago, to be illegal.

The Basic Idea food-bank will be required for as long as unjust structures in society are the accepted bi-product of discriminatory social and economic policy in this country.  The hung parliament will mean that the current government will be under even greater scrutiny than before and will seek greater cross party consensus as it brings forward measures effecting social policy.

Please keep informed and hold government and opposition alike to account, during what many commentators are predicting to be a very difficult economic and political period.

The Basic Idea Team thanks you again for your vital support at this time – form a voluntary point of view, the second 10 years are always the hardest.


Gareth Greenwood – Chair of Hope for Belper

Donate to The Basic Idea Foodbank at the Whitemoor Lane Co-operative

We are pleased to announce that you can now buy an extra item whilst shopping at the Whitemoor Lane branch of the Co-op.  As part of supporting the local community the store has agreed to host a collection point for The Basic Idea foodbank.

Whilst we have a more than ample supply of baked beans, soup, pasta and tinned fish there are many things that we are very short of, that will enable us to keep this critical service available to those of our neighbours in need.

On the side of the bright yellow donations bin, you can find a list of what we could really use at the moment.  This list will be updated regularly to reflect gaps in the foodbank store.  You can also get regular updates about what’s most useful to donate by following Hope for Belper on Facebook where you can also see what else the churches and their partners are up to in the town.

In addition we are hoping to confirm that Hope for Belper (The Basic Idea) has been chosen as the local charity that will benefit from the 1% of members own brand purchases; this would be a further boost for all the volunteers involved in providing critical food aid to our neighbours.

Thanks again for all who support the project on a regular basis – your donations of food, money and time are appreciated enormously!

The Basic Idea Team

Working Co-operatively!


After making a good contact at this years’ Belper Goes Green Festival, we have taken up the opportunity to have a collection point for The Basic Idea food-bank inside the Co-op supermarket on Strutt

Street. Jamie and all the staff at the Co-op are very pleased to be facilitating this local project and it is hoped that we will have a few of our food-bank volunteers in-store early December to promote ‘The Basic Idea’ to their customers. The collection point is by the far till nearest the Post Office.

THANK YOU to everyone who supports The Basic Idea with food and financial donations. A particular thank you to the many church congregations in and around Belper who week in week out provide the vast majority of the food for the scheme. We would also like to say a big thank you to all the schools representing many children and parents from across Belper and surrounding areas for their generosity in donating all the non-perishable produce from their harvest services – the store is always bursting at this time of year!

2014 has seen a steady but not dramatic increase in referrals and on average we are currently delivering to around one family every day. Since the beginning of The Basic Idea in 2009 it has always been about local people helping their neighbours through times of crisis. Approximately 35,000 items have been donated over the years and whilst it is our hope that one day we can scale down the provision, it should be a great source of pleasure and a continuing expression of love that we are all able to help our neighbours in this way!

Thanks again to everyone who in anyway has supported this vital project.

Gareth Greenwood

Guides lend a hand with H4B foodbank project

2nd Belper Guides helped out with H4B's Basic Idea food bank
2nd Belper Guides helped out with H4B’s Basic Idea food bank

On the evening of Monday 7th October Jo Lambourne and Gareth Greenwood joined the 2nd Belper Guides to talk about food poverty and the way in which it is affecting some of our neighbours around the town.

Jo and Gareth talked about how ‘The Basic Idea’ food-bank project had been set up in response to the credit crunch and that since then hundreds of families and individuals had been helped to get through times of financial hardship and crisis in and around the Belper area.

The Guide Troop were very engaged with the issues involved and asked some very searching questions throughout the evening.  They had the opportunity to sort and label many cans and packets that had been recently donated by local churches and schools.

They packed some of these items along with food they themselves had brought along on the evening in to boxes ready to be delivered to their neighbours in need.

Hope for Belper would like to thank them for their generosity in giving both food and their evening toward the project – well done girls!

Thanks also to Rachel Kenning and her team of leaders for inviting us along for the evening.