The staff of High Wycombe housing association stepped up to support a local food bank on Wednesday.

As part of Red Kite Community Housing’s first community morning action since the pandemic began, 150 staff went out in the morning to help at different charities in South Bucks.

After buying £1,000 worth of desperately needed food items, the Red Kite staff 'took over' One Can Trust on Duke Street in Wycombe on May 25. 

They helped with sorting, picking and packing before the food bags are delivered to clients in need by volunteers.

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Brice from Red Kite, who was sorting food into boxes, said: “It’s quite scary to see how much food is required.

“Maybe before I didn’t know anyone who uses a foodbank, and definitely since the financial crisis began I know more.”

While One Can Trust currently operates mostly by delivery, one client had come to collect his first food parcel since he was referred after losing his part-time job. 

He said: "I try to eat only what I need to, so not too much. 

"The price of everything is crazy, and it's tough." 

One Can Trust, which was set up in 2011l, collects around £280,000 worth of food each year. 

From the warehouse on Duke Street, they are able to send out around 450 food parcels a year to families and single people. 

During Covid, the foodbank had to change to a delivery model nearly overnight and get an army of delivery drivers for door-to-door delivery - a model they still operate. 

Jo Belshaw, the food procurement manager at One Can Trust, said: "Pre-Covid we were looking after around 250 people per week. But this April there was one week when we helped around 790 people across the whole of South Bucks.

"The numbers have dropped a tiny bit, but perhaps because of the warmer weather people haven't put their heating on. But someone told me they haven't yet seen their bill since the caps came off. 

"And sadly I'm expecting once those bills come in, and later in the year when heating goes back on, what's going to happen." 

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In addition to High Wycombe, One Can Trust operates across South Bucks including Beaconsfield, Marlow, Burnham, Denham, Princes Risborough.

Clients are referred to the foodbank through partner agencies such as Buckinghamshire Council. 

Laura King, a relationship advisor at Red Kite, said: “The community morning is a really fun way of getting hands-on, giving back to the community and getting to know our partner agencies that work so hard to help people." 

More information about One Can Trust can be found here

One Can Trust will be collecting food items at Tesco Loudwater this weekend on May 28 and 29.