St John & St Mark Church, Bury

Porch Boxes

One of the charities that we support is Porch Boxes, a food charity based in Radcliffe. They are supported by Bury Library and local churches, including ourselves, as well as a number of other organisations, retailers and individuals. You can donate items via a box at the back of church.

The following is an edit of an article which appeared in the Bury Times in April 2015:

Organisers at Porch Boxes say that, during the past two years, benefit sanctions and delays have placed unprecedented pressure on its services.

Last year, the volunteer-run group delivered 4,733 of its crisis food and toiletry packs to families in Bury, Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale, the highest figure in its history and a 50 per cent increase on 2012.

The increase has meant demand has now outstripped the supply of goods donated by its supporters and the charity now has to buy stock for the packs.

Porch Boxes chairman Julia Rowlands said: “People have always been very supportive of what we do and donated generously, but over the past two years we have seen the number of people finding themselves in crisis increasing substantially.

The charity is asking generous residents to help restock their shelves by donating non-perishable food items, such as tinned foods, pasta, and rice.

All foodstuffs should be within their use-by dates and donations can be left at the borough’s libraries.

Several retailers in Bury also collect for the charity, including Asda stores in Spring Street and Pilsworth Road, and the Co-Operative, in Mile Lane.

The Radcliffe Times reported earlier this month that more than half of the families turning to Porch Boxes for help had done so because of problems with the benefits system. In 2014, Porch Boxes handed out nearly 400 crisis packs every month and since its founding in 2001, the charity has helped more than 42,000 families in need.

What should you donate?

  • Tinned foods: meat, fish, fruit, ravioli, spaghetti, beans, puddings etc
  • Bottles of squash
  • Cup-a-soup
  • Tea, coffee, drinking chocolate
  • Pasta, rice, noodles & associated sauces
  • Cereals, jams and spreads
  • Biscuits & sugar
  • Toothpaste and tooth brushes