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My experience of a university placement at Bournemouth Foodbank

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Initially, I was apprehensive; this was the first time I could put into practice what I have been taught during the last 2 years at university. However, there was no need to be nervous as the food bank team at Bournemouth were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at home.

Bournemouth Foodbank and The Trussell Trust are carrying out fantastic work in providing nutrition to those in crisis. I have been amazed at how generous the public are in donating their time to volunteer at the foodbank, but also the volume of those donating food. Over my first weekend here, there was a Tesco’s food collection, at which I helped by handing out leaflets and even accompanying someone on their food shop. (One gentleman filled a trolley with items amounting to £50 and donated the lot- a truly fantastic example of community spirit!) Over 2 days almost 2 tonnes of food were collected by myself and the team, enabling the foodbank to help those in need. The public were extremely generous with their donations, and I enjoyed being part of it.

Whilst at the food bank, I assessed the nutritional content of the food parcels given to clients and was surprised at how nutritious they were! I was also taken aback by how open the foodbank team were, making minor changes to parcels which would improve the nutritional content. Overall, the clients receive food parcels that are healthy, nutritious and the food can be used to make balanced meals, a positive from all angles.

I feel as though there are misconceptions surrounding food banks, but from witnessing the food bank in full swing, I have been able to realise just how much people donate to the lifeline helping individuals going through a hard time. It is a definite conclusion that the work they do is fantastic and is needed in the community.

Upon reflection, I am so glad I picked to do 10 days of my placement with Bournemouth Foodbank, as it is doing remarkable work within the community, which perhaps goes unnoticed from time to time. I have learnt new things which I could never learn from reading nutrition books and journals, and these will stay with me throughout my nutrition career. I would like to wholeheartedly thank Bournemouth Foodbank for allowing me to do my placement with them and I look forward to seeing their work flourish and thrive.

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Why is there a food collection outside parliament today?

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“If it wasn’t for the foodbank, I don’t know what I’d do. I had to choose between feeding my children and starving myself, or eating.”

That’s what one mum in Bradford said to a volunteer at one of the 420 foodbanks that make up The Trussell Trust’s network. Multiply that by many thousands and you have a picture of the incredibly difficult decisions families across the UK face as Christmas approaches. Last December we gave out 60,000 three-day emergency food parcels to children alone, and foodbanks are poised to help even more people this year.

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Neighbourhood Food Collection Christmas 2016

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Running a food bank has opened my eyes to why people are without food.

Our focus has been on providing three days emergency food for people in a crisis. After a couple of years, I thought I knew about every scenario. But I often talk to people who are in a situation we’ve never come across before.

Week in, week out there are different people in Watford who do not have enough money for food. Some are affected by illness, by job losses or by homelessness. Others by simply not having any money because an emergency has left them short.

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Giving thanks this Giving Tuesday

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We think you, our supporters are incredible! The compassion, kindness and generosity you show is truly humbling. Every day, there are more people like you joining the fight against UK hunger; an ever growing community working to transform lives all over the UK.

Every donation you give, no matter the size, is gratefully received. We know that you understand the pain of people whose cupboards are bare and have no means of buying more food. Your compassion is heart-warming and hugely appreciated.

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How the compassion of strangers shaped my life

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I know it’s hard to get through life with dignity, courage and strength when your basic needs aren’t met.

My support for The Trussell Trust comes from a place of compassion – I hate the thought of people struggling to meet their basic needs in a country like Britain. It also comes from a place of understanding, just a tiny bit, what people who turn to foodbanks might be going through.

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We’ve joined the End Hunger UK big conversation – will you?

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As we approach the cold winter months and Christmas, it is time more than ever to remember the people who are going hungry on our doorstep. Trussell Trust foodbanks gave out 1.1 million emergency food supplies last year, and each of those foodbank visits tells a story of a person or family in crisis.

This is why we’re joining forces with 12 of the UK’s leading charities working with people affected by hunger to launch the End Hunger UK campaign. It starts with a Big Conversation, going on across the UK until March 2017. Individuals, foodbanks, food projects, local food networks and others are all invited to join in the Conversation and ask the question: What does our government need to do to End Hunger in the UK?

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Social supermarkets and foodbanks – tackling hunger and poverty together

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When asked about the rise of foodbanks and poverty in Britain, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said,

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

The Trussell Trust is best known for its work running a network of foodbanks providing three days of emergency food and support to people in crisis in communities across the UK. A record 1.1 million of these parcels were given to people supported by our 420+ foodbank projects in the last year alone.  This is work we are proud of– but it’s shameful that it is necessary.  We need to ensure that people left desperate, with nowhere to turn, get the support they need.

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No food, no roof?

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A new report out today from housing charity Shelter lays bare a shocking reality foodbanks know only too well; many people are just one paycheck or unexpected bill away from being unable to afford basic essentials like food, rent and utilities.

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Why am I taking part in the Medtronic 10 mile run?

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I have held several high pressure, high profile jobs during my career, some very much in the public eye, some affecting national government policy. Running has always been where I go to think. Week in week out, no matter where in the world I am, I make space for the essential solitude running makes possible, clocking up an average 25 miles a week. Running always helps me regain my equilibrium after a particularly hard day. I often work through problems on a long run. That’s where I come up with new strategies and new ideas.

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