MuchBetter supports local community food bank

by sujatha | 3 mins read | Jun 1st 2021

MuchBetter donates freezer to the Isle of Man Foodbank and plans to continue support with donations towards a new kitchen that will enable Foodbank users to learn essential new cooking skills.

“The Isle of Man is home to MuchBetter, and we are committed to supporting the island’s community through various initiatives. Supporting the local Foodbank is one of the ways that we can give back and make a difference.” – Said MuchBetter Founder and CEO, Israel Rosenthal.

Some of MuchBetter’s employees are volunteers of the Islands food bank and brought awareness of the charity’s increasing needs to the company’s attention, so MuchBetter asked how they could help. In December 2020, staff pulled together to make a large food donation to the food bank, and in February 2021 MuchBetter donated a new freezer. Later this year MuchBetter will support the food bank financially to help fund their new kitchen, which will be used to teach users essential cooking skills.

Israel continued – “An additional contribution we’ve made as a company is the activation of a new donation feature within the MuchBetter app that allows our users to make simple donations to The Manx Solidarity Fund. The charity works closely with local businesses and individuals who need financial aid because of the pandemic.”

About the Isle of Man Foodbank

The Isle of Man Foodbank was launched in 2013, by Neal Mellon and David Gawne MBE. Neal has a background in healthcare and had worked closely with various homeless charities in both the UK and the Isle of Man. Combining their own experiences with exploratory research around local organisations such as Social Health Care and the Salvation Army, it was clear that there was a gap and a strong need for a local food bank.

“There is often a misconception around food banks, and a belief that we simply stock food and open our doors to anyone who wishes to drop in and collect a basket of food regardless of their circumstance, but we don’t work like this on the island.” – Neal Mellon

Some people are employed yet in poverty. The emphasis from the Isle of Man Foodbank is on achieving independence, not long-term reliance. The Isle of Man Foodbank works to help users achieve complete independence. Everybody who works at the food bank is a volunteer.

Neal continued – “A significant number of our users are in temporary poverty whilst still in work. External circumstances, such as the loss of a family member, or illness of a spouse, can mean that they find themselves in a drastically different reality. Without the food bank, some of these people would sacrifice eating in order to redirect their finances. We want them to know that there is another option. There is hope.”

Volunteers of the Isle of Man Foodbank work closely with service users to truly understand their unique circumstances and needs so they can tailor packages based on their cooking facilities, the number of dependants in their home, and the length of time that they need support.

The Foodbank offers so much more than food parcels. They provide users with essential hygiene products, baby essentials and even children’s birthday cakes, so that families can retain a sense of normality during hard times. Equally important, they take a holistic approach to problem-solving and refer clients to relevant charities for additional support and advice.

How has Covid-19 affected the Foodbank and how can you help?

Unemployment more than doubled on the Isle of Man since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak in March 2020. Those numbers are slowly recovering; however, even short-term unemployment can have a long-term impact. Currently, the Isle of Man Foodbank gives out an average of 350 food parcels each month (a food parcel will include fresh, frozen and store cupboard food, as well as non-food items).

The cost to run the Isle of Man Foodbank has increased by approximately one third in the past year, from an average of £1,086 per week to £1,500 per week and nobody receives a salary.

The Isle of Man Foodbank is always grateful to receive donations, whether in the form of items for the food parcels, or donations of money. Items most needed include tinned goods, UHT milk, and nappies size 5/6.

If you would like to make a food donation, check out the full list of drop-off points here.

To make a financial donation, contact the food bank on 646999 or 311550 for details.

Anyone in crisis can ring freephone number 08081624610

Find out more about the Isle of Man Foodbank here

MuchBetter is passionate about supporting the Isle of Man community through multiple ongoing initiatives, including charity donations, and sponsorships of rising local Sports Stars. The Isle of Man is a unique community with a strong culture of togetherness and we’re incredibly proud to be part of that positive spirit.

Read more by sujatha