The Black Country Foodbank publish their 2023 impact report.

Since its inception in June 2006 at Chawn Hill Church in Stourbridge, the Black Country Foodbank (BCFB) has been steadfast in its commitment as a Christian-based charitable organisation to aiding those in need. Fast forward to the end of 2023, the BCFB has remarkably expanded its reach, boasting a comprehensive network of 26 food banks supported by the dedication of over 300 volunteers across the Dudley, Sandwell, and Walsall boroughs. This is in addition to the 30+ volunteers who contribute their efforts towards managing the central warehouse located in Brierley Hill. Despite the passage of years and the organisation’s growth, the core mission of BCFB remains unwavering: to provide immediate three-day emergency food supplies to vulnerable individuals and families facing crises, thereby offering a lifeline until more sustainable solutions can be found.

The Black Country Foodbank offers immediate aid to tackle food insecurity, addressing the urgent needs of individuals and families struggling with poverty, job loss, unexpected expenses, and the wider impacts of the cost-of-living crisis.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points from the Black Country Foodbank (BCFB) Impact Report 2023 published in March 2024

Key Points:

  • Record-Breaking Need: BCFB provided over half a million meals in 2023, the highest number in its history. This reflects the severe impact of the cost of living crisis on vulnerable individuals and families.

  • Consistent Demand Throughout the Year: Unlike previous years where there was a seasonal peak around Christmas, the need for food aid remained consistently high throughout 2023. This is a troubling indicator of the ongoing financial hardship faced by many.
  • The Depth of Poverty: The report emphasises that the figures highlight only a portion of the true extent of poverty in the Black Country. Many struggling people do not access food banks due to factors like fear, pride, or lack of awareness.
  • Community Support is Crucial: BCFB relies heavily on donations and volunteers to meet the escalating demand. The report stresses the gratitude for community support.
  • Changes to Meet the Rise in Demand: The food bank reports several steps taken to address the increased need:
    • Opening more food banks
    • Offering a voucher code system for frontline workers
    • Bulk buying food and toiletries
    • Launching recipe bags to help people maximise their food
    • Sharing resources with other local food aid charities

In 2023, the primary reasons leading individuals to seek assistance from food banks encompass a variety of difficult circumstances. Among these are challenges related to universal credit applications and deductions, health issues, the burden of utility bills, homelessness, and the impact of domestic abuse, which also extends to the hardships encountered upon entering new accommodation. Notably, the most surprising cause of crisis, contributing to 15% of the food parcels distributed, pertains to those who are considered Low Income Employed. This group finds itself in a precarious situation where essential living costs have escalated at a rate that outpaces their income, highlighting a significant and growing challenge in maintaining basic living standards

Location Breakdown:

What the beneficiaries say about the Black Country Foodbank:

Underlying Message:

The Black Country Foodbank Impact Report 2023 underscores the devastating consequences of the cost of living crisis on the Black Country region. While the report highlights the food bank’s efforts, it also serves as a call for continued community support and the urgent need to address the root causes of poverty.

How can you Give Help?

If you would like to support the work of the Black Country Foodbank, there are several ways you can help. 

  • Donate Items at your local foodbank or donation collection point
  • Share requests for donations for the foodbank within your local network

Where to Find the Report:

You can find the full Black Country Foodbank Impact Report 2023 on their website: