Food Banks Gear up for Christmas.
Food Banks are an emotional subject.
There is no doubt that people use them out of necessity.
There is little doubt that those running them have good intentions and work hard at what they do.
But having to ask for what is not a benefit of right, but what is ultimately a favour, is not an easy thing to do.
Nor is the prospect of having to live on the basics they offer appealing.
The ‘umble classes, and this Blog, like something “tasty” from time to time.
Whether that includes a bacon sarnie, wagon-wheels, Cornish ice-cream, a massive pizza, or wild boar cooked in truffles with a bottle of Saint–Émilion (our own choice) should be up to us, not to a Food Bank.
The government’s idea of ‘Food bank jobcentres‘ is even less attractive.
Some Food Banks (see below) also have a religious element.
This seems to be the current state of play:
Trussell Trust Warns Of Record Levels Of Food Bank Demand This Christmas
Reports Welfare Weekly.
The UK’s largest foodbank charity is warning of record levels of demand over Christmas, with struggling families facing stark choices between eating and heating.
Referrals to Trussell Trust foodbanks were 53% higher in December 2014 than the average across other months, with more than 130,000 food parcels given to families and individuals in desperate need.
The charity warns that this December could see even more people forced to turn to foodbanks, as figures show that demand has increased by 14,000.
Trussell Trust handed out 506,369 food parcels between April and September 2015, compared to 492,641 over the same period in the previous year.
Each food parcel contains the equivalent of three-days worth of food and can only be received following a referral from a frontline professional, such as housing associations and children’s centres.
East Anglian Daily Times. 8th December.
The Trussell Trust has received almost £750,000 in extra funding from the Big Lottery Fund to cope with the strain, but it is concerned that its service will still be under pressure from growing numbers of people on low incomes who will face deciding between eating and heating.
The money will contribute towards services provided by its More Than Food programme, including debt advice, money management, welfare and housing advice, courses in cooking on a budget and other training, as well as emergency food.
There are three Trussell Trust food banks in the county – East Suffolk Foodbank in Lowestoft, Haverhill Foodbank and Lakenheath Foodbank.
David McAuley, chief executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “Winter is the hardest time of year for people living on the breadline; many will face stark choices between eating and heating.
“Every year we meet families who are worried about having anything to eat on Christmas Day, who have been living and sleeping in one room to keep heating costs to the absolute minimum
“Food bank use is likely to rise significantly over the winter months and we’re anticipating that it could peak at the highest level yet this Christmas.
“Increasingly, Trussell Trust food banks are able to provide additional support services to help resolve some the underlying causes of food bank use, and this will be especially impactful over the winter months.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Big Lottery Fund for their generous support in enabling food banks to help families and individuals at the point of crisis to get back onto their feet more quickly. The funding couldn’t come at a better time.”
Nationally, between April and September this year, Trussell food banks gave out 506,369 emergency three-day food supplies, compared to 492,641 in the same period last year. December 2014 in particular saw an average increase of more than 50% in referrals to food banks compared with other months.
Food Banks in East Suffolk. and Ipswich (FIND is a Christian-based registered charity that was founded in 1990 to provide emergency assistance to families or individuals affected by poverty or dispossession.)
In our view too many people who should be supported by our social security system are being let down by it – with delays in benefit payments, debt, unfair benefits sanctions and the bedroom tax pushing people to the doors of food banks.
Charity is no substitute for benefits: depending on the good will of people to help is not the same as having a right to a basic minimum standard of living.
Above all, food.