I like to be optimistic and would like to think that we won’t have York Foodbank in another three years, simply because there will no longer be a need for it. For that to happen we must listen to the experiences of the people that we see. We must support people and help them out of crisis, but we must also identify what is driving people into Foodbanks, then advocate for change.Read more
The Trussell Trust, along with dozens of representatives from its UK network of foodbanks, were in parliament yesterday speaking with MPs and Peers about the work they do to combat hunger and poverty.
Hosting the event, Chris White MP commended the varied work of the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks, particularly noting “the range of services offered by the Trust, including financial advice and life skills training.”
Parliamentarians were more than aware that they need to do their bit to tackle poverty including looking into problems with welfare delivery. 44% of people referred to foodbanks are there due to delays with or changes to their benefits. The room went away with a renewed sense of purpose to do more to solve issues for the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society, at an important time for decision makers who are currently considering proposed tax credit changes.Read more
On Saturday one of Hackney’s most successful sons, Lord Sugar, spoke out on what he sees as the absence of real poverty in Britain today.
Decrying those who claim poverty yet own mobile phones or microwaves, Lord Sugar suggested “If you really want to know what poor is like go and live where I lived in Hackney [as a child], where you didn’t have a shilling for the meter.”
Shillings may now be obsolete, but the problem of having no money for the meter is not.Read more
Dear Richard Littlejohn: Please Don’t Pretend That Hunger and Poverty Are Not Real, Right Here, Right Now
I don’t want to question the fact that Mr Littlejohn has a job to do, and that job happens to be a columnist, and that being a columnist happens to require the ability to write to extremes.
Neither do I have the time or inclination to defend myself or other (female) foodbank volunteers who were on the sneering end of Mr Littlejohn’s typing finger today. I’d hazard a guess that most volunteers actually couldn’t give a whistle what Mr Littlejohn thinks of us; we just think it’s important to help out our neighbours who are struggling.Read more
Picture this: you’re ten minutes late for a meeting at work. You’re very sorry. You explain to your boss how the bus was on diversion and took half an hour longer than usual. Your boss has no time to discuss it and simply tells you that you won’t get paid this month. That’s it, not a fine, or some kind of reduction, but nothing, no pay, absolutely nothing.Read more
A country of security and opportunity for everyone, at every stage of life; these were the words David Cameron used to set out his bold One Nation vision in the Queen’s Speech this May.
As we digest the results of the budget today, the words seem as good a test to judge it by as any. To be true to the One Nation ideal the budget must answer a simple question those of us in the foodbanks movement ponder every day. What can be done to reduce the number of people in poverty and hunger?Read more
The morning after the general election, The Trussell Trust Twitter feed was full of people offering support for foodbanks. Ordinary, generous people are donating funds and food because they’re worried that we’ll see the need for emergency food rise due to reductions in welfare spending.
Foodbank managers are worried. We have seen in the past that the implementation of welfare reform sees increases in people facing hunger and turning to foodbanks. We know that we could see another rise in need. But what is the answer?Read more
1) Foodbanks only provide food
Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a lot more than food; that’s because we recognise that tackling hunger also means tackling the underlying cause of the crisis. Trussell Trust foodbanks signpost people to local agencies and charities who help people break out of poverty.
Over 90% of Trussell Trust foodbanks provide extras alongside emergency food: this can vary from toiletries and sanitary products, to baby basics; holiday clubs; CV clinics; and financial, welfare and housing advice. We’re currently partnering with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis to pilot hosting financial and debt advisers in foodbanks. This extra level of support aims to help people during their immediate crisis, whilst also recognising that it can take more than food to help someone break out of their situation long term.Read more
Listening to people who have been referred to West Cheshire food bank, where I work, can be emotionally draining. How would you respond to a young girl who has been ripping out her own hair because she can’t cope? To a former soldier with a serious illness who is violently sick every time he takes his medication because you’re meant to take it on a full stomach?Read more
‘Client told me her & husb have stock cubes & mug of hot water for dinner 4 x week so that their kids can eat’ tweeted Rob McDowall, Director of the Scottish Welfare Support and Advice Network yesterday.
I’m asking myself the question, if the Sun wanted to write about food poverty and foodbanks, wasn’t this the story? Why did they choose instead to spend a week digging around actively trying to find something to discredit the UK’s biggest foodbank charity?Read more