This summer support your local foodbank!

Posted 10:49 Monday 11 September 2017
Elouise Smith

Elouise Smith

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Foodbank donations

A few weeks ago I was shocked to hear the statistic when listening to the radio at home that 1 in 5 of the UK population live below our official poverty line. This statistic shocked me because I consider myself to live in a seemingly developed country with one of the largest economies, yet there are people struggling to meet the basic need to feed themselves and their families?

The particular news report that I tuned into covered the struggles that families meet during the school holidays given that when the kids are at school they might qualify for a free school meal. This extra demand to feed a family during the summer holidays can push some families to breaking point. I heard a heart wrenching account of a new mother so malnourished that she was not able to produce enough milk to feed her new baby.  As a parent this scenario seems unthinkable, yet this is going on in our town, our city and maybe even on our street.

I turned to the Trussell Trust website to find out more about the work that they do and how organisations can offer their help and support.

Some disturbing facts which demonstrate why help is needed:

  • 1,182,954 – the number of 3 day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust foodbanks in 2016-2017
  • 436,938 of these food supplied went to children
  • Foodbank use is currently at a record high rising 2% on last year

Top 3 reasons cited for a referral to a Trussell Trust foodbank:

  1. Low income
  2. Benefit delays
  3. Benefit changes*

The Trussell Trust website is engaging and full of information about how as an individual or as a member of an organisation there is something that we can all do to help people who find themselves in need of this service. The thing which surprised me was reading personal stories from people who have used the service and the realisation that people from any walk of life can find themselves in a situation where they need the support that the Trussell Trust gives.

It didn’t take too much effort to figure out what we might be able to do to help at MES. We found out where our nearest foodbank was based and Elizabeth our Office Administrator began advertising the fact that we were collecting for Haringey Foodbank. Our collection went on for 2 weeks and we managed to gather a range of packed and tinned foods and well as toiletries. This was done with very little time spent organising and Elizabeth kindly drove the collection to the foodbank on the final day to drop off our haul. However this for us is not enough so we are committing to organising a collection amongst our ERS company group every summer and Christmas holidays.

If you feel inspired why not visit the Trussell Trust website and find out where your local foodbank is based.

*Source https://www.trusselltrust.org/

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