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Are you busily stocking up with goodies in time for the festive period? many of us take this for granted during the festive period. However, a growing number of people can’t even afford basic essential such as pasta, rice and milk – and this happening now in the UK!
Who needs food banks and why?
Well, last September, 2013, Michael Gove famously said that those who turn to food banks ‘have only got themselves to blame’ for their lack of financial savvy. Now, this controversial subject is in the news once again and it’s not about to disappear in the foreseeable future.
Please note – WyeDean Deli Confidential is not a political endeavour and always aims to give an objective account of the facts…
Busting the myth of the ‘scroungers’
In fact, many people scoff at the notion that anyone in the UK could go hungry, and the only people who use food banks are scroungers looking for a free lunch. So, we set out to get the facts and went straight to the Forest Food Bank and asked Paul (at the Forest Food Bank) about the work they do.
What are the main reasons for people using the Forest Food bank?
Paul: The main reason is low income, with lots of people in work but not able to make ends meet. Then, we have benefit changes which take at least 4 weeks and can range from a child change age to adult sanctions. This can mean weeks with no money to buy food.
What would you say to people who don’t believe that anyone in the UK could legitimately need a food bank?
Paul: The food bank provides food for those in need and is regulated so that it is for a short term crisis only. Those who come are embarrassed about needing our help, but are extremely grateful. Anyone could find themselves in difficulty and it is good to have the backup system to help them, although it shouldn’t be needed in this day and age. We have had all manner of cases and all age groups wanting short term help.
How can people get involved and support you?
Paul: People can get involved by donating food in the baskets at all the major supermarkets. The food bank is about the community helping the community. Anyone wanting to be a volunteer would need to have training and should email the food bank with their details.
How many people have you helped this year?
Paul: We have helped 1504 people this year; 485 children and 1019 adults.
So, there are a number very real reasons why people may need help from a food bank, some people may be mentally or physically ill, facing benefit sanctions and having to go without food. People fleeing abusive relationships may not be able to safely go to a supermarket.
Weighing it up objectively, if you are still incredulous after reading this, you’re lucky to have lived a sheltered life.
Local business Forest Traders, will be donating money to the Forest Food Bank this Christmas instead of sending cards. We think that’s a fab idea.
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