Food bank breaks records for ‘all the wrong reasons’ as cost of living rise hits hard

Fair Frome’s food bank has experienced its busiest week ever as locals continue to struggle with the rise in the cost of living.

Mendip CAB is also reporting the town is under pressure; with an increased number of calls from Frome residents.

Fair Frome’s chair of trustees, Bob Ashford said, “June has unfortunately seen records broken at Fair Frome for all the wrong reasons. The growing impact of the cost of living crisis on families and individuals in the town has resulted in the busiest week at the foodbank since we opened in 2014. 

“This has meant emptying shelves and having to buy some essential items. But we have a really strong community in Frome who we know will continue to support what we do.”

Sign up to ‘Bank the Food’

To help support them, Fair Frome is encouraging locals to download the ‘Bank the Food’ app on their mobile phones. By downloading the app, residents can see in real-time what food donations are needed by the food bank.  

“The app will send you a helpful ‘ping’ with a reminder of your food bank’s needs when you are shopping in your local supermarket,” explains a spokesperson for Bank the Food. “You can then choose exactly what you would like to donate and leave your donation in your food bank’s collection box at the end of your shopping trip. 

“Your local food bank will then be alerted via the app of your (anonymous) donation, making it easier for your food bank to track and locate items they really need.” 

For more information about the ‘Bank the Food’ app, visit the website:

Practical tips to combat the rise in the cost of living 

To help residents cope with the rise in the cost of living, Fair Frome has also produced a new ‘practical tips’ leaflet, which shares ideas on how they can save money. The leaflets are being distributed with food parcels, and the charity is also sharing them with organisations to distribute. 

The practical tips shared in the leaflet are: 

How to stop spending

1. Budget, budget, budget – work out where you are wasting money 

2. Cancel unused subscriptions 

3. Work out how much something costs in hours of work- how long would you 

have to work to buy the items  

4.Use FreeCycle – a website where people give away stuff for free:    

5. Cut down on work costs – take your own lunches and coffees  

6. Cut down on wasting food

Food waste tips

1. Use your microwave – if you have one, they are usually cheaper than the oven. Prick your potatoes and pop them in the microwave 

2. Stick to a shopping list – and never go shopping hungry 

3. Make use of yellow stickers – do your shopping at the times when reductions are available 

4. Know the difference between USE BY and BEST BEFORE – best before food is still okay once it has passed its date 

5. Know where to store your food – bread, eggs and bananas don’t go off as quickly in the fridge 

6. Cook efficiently – cook multiple meals in the oven at once to save energy 

Energy saving tips, particularly for the Autumn / Winter

1. Turn your heating down – each degree cuts bills by 4% each year 

2. Heat the person not the home – pop on another jumper, socks or a hot water bottle 

3. Add draught proofing – this can cut 2% of bills a year. You can put tin foil behind the radiator, draught excluders under the door and clingfilm at the windows 

4. Make use of your radiator thermostats – only heat the rooms you need to heat 

5. Avoid the tumble dryer 

6. Take your meter readings- make sure you are only paying for the fuel you are using

Water saving tips 

1. Cut down on your shower times- stick to 4 minutes max showers and you will save £100 a year 

2. Save up your washing and only use the machine when you have a full wash 

3. Turn your taps off- when washing your dishes and cleaning your teeth 

4. Fix your leaks 

5. Order free water saving gadgets  

6. Steam your veg- it’s cheaper and healthier

Other practical tips

1. Pay attention to your standing orders – do you have extra bills or subscriptions you can cancel? 

2. Pop your wi-fi on a timer- save electricity by switching your wi-fi off overnight 

3. Swap out to a cheaper mobile contract and data plan 

4. Watch the weather – stop using the tumble dryer and dry your washing outside or with the windows open 

5. Use your work electricity – charge your phone and even shower at work 

6. Check your tax codes 

7. Save travel money – get a travel card 

8. Drive less and walk more! Better for the planet and your wallet  

9. Unlock shopping deals with loyalty apps.

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