While much of the UK sees a contraction in business there is one area of business that has expanded 50% over the previous year; that is the Trussell Trust charity foodbanks.
Foodbanks provide an essential safety net and discretely provide food, which is donated by the general public, to the needy in the UK. And if you thought there was no need for such a thing in modern Britain then just consider that the Trussell Trust foodbanks provided much needed sustenance for 61,468 people last year. That’s a 50% increase on 2009!
Foodbanks give emergency food to people when they need it, which is right now, not after a lengthy wait to see if they do or do not qualify for some sort of state aid.
With no indication that the jaws of the economic downturn are loosening their grip on many families’ budgets, more and more people are going hungry as prices for food rise and wages freeze.
Although the Salisbury based Trussell Trust has worked extremely hard to open a new foodbank just about every week in 2011 the demand for them just keeps expanding.
The Trust has many inspiring stories of how such a small and relatively cheap thing as a food parcel can completely change someone’s life.
One of their latest is the story of ‘Louise’ whose family, through no fault of theirs, fell on hard times after redundancy and illness hit them with a double-whammy. Their young daughter gave her mother her paper round pocket money so that she could buy milk and bread!
For Louise the foodbank made all the difference, ‘I was treated with such dignity.’ She said in the Trust’s latest newsletter ‘It meant that my children could go to school and be normal. It is so geed.’
The actor Bill Nighy recently visited the Hammersmith & Fulham foodbank and was ‘extremely moved’ and ‘inspired’ by the clients and volunteers.
With now over 100 foodbanks in the UK the Trussell Trust is providing an invaluable service to the community. But there is a growing need for more as well as a growing need for more food donations to fill the parcels. Food is now leaving the foodbanks faster than it is coming in.
Parts of Britain may be in need of some care and attention, but the donors and volunteers that keep the foodbanks alive and growing are proof that Britain is not as ‘broken’ as some would suggest.
If you want to find out more and help to bring hope and relief to the many that need it then please contact The Trussell Trust.
Just one small can, pack of sugar or carton of cereal given regularly can make all the difference in the world to a family in need.
The Trussell Trust
St Muchael’s Community Centre,
St Michaels’s Road,
01722 411 244