Open Collective
Open Collective
Call to action: our food bank is at the risk of closing!
Published on April 1, 2024 by Martyna Marcinkowska

Dear Red Kitchen supporters,

We are hoping you had a restful long weekend and a cheerful time to all those celebrating.

Unfortunately, we are facing a very difficult time. Our bi-weekly food bank for asylum-seeking refugees in Reading now regularly serves over 60 people. We are trying our best to meet the demand and continue providing a safe space for the asylum seekers to meet and socialise but the increase in the number of service users has been putting a strain on our budget.

We have been busy since our last update - besides our usual service, we organised a Christmas party, helped set up a temporary shelter for our friends facing the homelessness crisis, and are working hard to organise a get-together for Eid. All of this would not be possible without your help! That's why we'd like to thank you for supporting our service, and ask for your continued support.

The Reading Red Kitchen survives on individual donations alone; we're a community mutual aid, not a charity. That means that every single donation goes directly to the families and individuals we serve. For full transparency, our weekly shop costs over £300 per week now that we are serving 60+ people. We've been rotating between pantry and toiletry shifts, decreased to 2 shifts a month, reduced cost to a minimum by getting our products from vendors offering the lowest prices, but trying to make sure that every person gets at least one of each item has been a struggle with our current donations level and increased costs.

If we continue at this rate, we will not be able to run 2 services from May onwards. 

Whether we can do this--and keep doing this--depends on the community taking action. Your contributions mean that refugee families in our community are able to cook meals, feed their children, and to have access to soap, period products, and diapers, all of which are basic necessities. They can also receive support from our network and connect with others in the community. We are incredibly grateful for your support on our mission to help bridge the gap in the support currently offered to refugees.

Please consider becoming a monthly donor (at and don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about what we do or how you can get involved. And above all, THANK YOU!

Open Collective
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