Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Food Banks

 
There's a crisis looming here in the UK, Food Banks are appearing in lots of our towns, they shouldn't need to be there but they are.  They are picking up the pieces of a failing support system for people that would otherwise, mostly through no fault of their own go hungry.
 
Last night I read the latest post on Jack's Blog  What can you do to help? Buy someone #22mealsforacoffee (That’s 22 meals for the price of a £3 coffee…) and it resonated through my mind.  See HERE to read the entire post or follow the link to her Blog on my Blog List on the sidebar.  Could you donate the cost of your regular morning latte and spend the money instead on a carrier bag of supermarket basics to feed a family for up to 22 meals.
 
This morning I found the location for donations to my local Food Bank, their national page is HERE, do they have one near you?  I printed off their ideal shopping list which is above (and also now has added to it toilet rolls, shower gel and toothpaste) and then I checked out what items they are really short of this month.  Their drop off point is in the Sainsb*ry's that is a little bit further away from the one I usually use, but I have a full tank of fuel, so I am going to get my shopping there instead this week and while I'm at it shop for someone else too.
 
They are holding a huge nationwide collection at 200 branches of Asda on 3rd August, so if you have one near you it would be easy to get a bit of your shopping from there and take up Jack's £3 coffee for 22 meals challenge.  Here's a link to the participating stores
 
 You don't have to spend a whole £3, times are hard in different ways for all of us, but even an extra couple of tins of beans or a single packet of rich tea biscuits that you can donate could make all the difference to someone somewhere.  I've been in the position where a single extra packet of biscuits in my cupboard would have meant that I could have had some too, instead of rationing out what I did have for my boys' suppers, and then I too would have gone to bed, not with a full tummy but at least with a non-rumbling one.
 
We can all make a difference, it's good to help.
 
Sue xx

35 comments:

  1. Hi Sue and good afternoon from Kyiv.

    This problem is worldwide and when I was recently visiting my sister in Switzerland, close to Geneva, she was telling me how she makes up boxes of supplies on a weekly basis!

    Giving never makes anybody poor, keep up the good work.

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    1. 'Giving never makes anybody poor', I love that, it sounds so right :-)

      We all have to help where we can, if we have two and someone else has none, what's to stop us sharing!!

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  2. I love Jack's blog too, Sue. I recently did a charity food shop for our local food bank, PATCH. The food was going out as fast as it was going in.

    http://www.evans-crittens.com/2013/07/retail-royalty-challenge-helping-patch.html

    I will be taking part in #22mealsforacoffee too. x

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    1. I followed your link and read it and what can I say ..... WELL DONE, absolutely fantastic. I love that your friend took lots of photographs. :-)

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  3. Jack's post also resonated with me. Last night I shared her FB status along with a friend's status about an appeal for our local food bank. By this morning,out of all my friends only 1 had commented and she volunteers at her local food bank. I am hugely disappointed that my friends who have plenty cannot spare a thought for those less fortunate.

    In the early days of my separation there was a point where I had £5 in my bank account, no petrol in my car and I didn't have a credit card to get by. I was lucky that I had a mum who was in a position to help me. I've never been hungry but I do know the constant worry about not having enough money and won't forget how fortunate I am.

    I'll be shopping for my food bank this afternoon and when I move house in a few weeks I'm going to volunteer my time too.

    Good post Sue :-)

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    1. Thank you.

      It's ironic isn't it that we put something on FB with a jokey one liner or cute picture and we get loads of 'Likes' and 'Shares' but put something that folk could actually do to make a difference and only the folk who are already making that difference respond.

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  4. Thanks Sue, im going to investigate my local food bank here in Melbourne. Im sure there are plenty here in the same boat.

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    1. It really is a worldwide thing isn't it. How nice that through the wonder of Blogland we can all join forces and try to make a difference.

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  5. There are food banks now in our nearest city. They are very busy and also 'soup kitchens'. I saw once the queues there in the morning. Many well dressed middle class people and children. Very sad

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  6. I think the best social service/charity a person can support is a food bank. I hate the thought of people going hungry and despise the sentiment in the US that it's their fault. I don't believe anyone chooses to be hungry. Good for you to post this!

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    1. It's really helping the folk that need it at ground level isn't it :-)

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  7. I've stock piled for nuclear war so I've cleared out and have taken it to the collection point in our local co-op - I also picked up sardines, stewed steak and corned beef for £1 a tin each in Poundland as my local foodbank is short of meat and fish - I've blogged this too today xx

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    1. Snap, even after supposedly eating our way through the cupboards there are still loads of things left, we very rarely fancy beans for instance so there are tins of them left, well not for much longer! I'm taking another trip to the food bank next week with everything surplus from my cupboards. There's not much meat but there are tins of fish, so they'll be going.

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  8. I happened to see the collection point in my local Sainsbugs last week, was heading home with my shopping by then. But this week I am buying extra to put in the box. I remember only too well that some years ago my life was pretty awful. I wake up every morning and give thanks for the way I can live now and that I am healthy.

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    1. If every shopper bought just one value item off the shopping list for the food banks and popped it in the collection box it would really make a difference.

      Those of us who have lived through testing times can really appreciate the difference that just a couple of things would make.

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  9. I will look for our nearest food bank. Awful to think of the waste & overeating that goes on and those who go hungry.
    Dillon had the left over pasta in his bowl. That would feed someone.

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    1. Well at least it fed Dillon and didn't go in the bin. I bet our chickens eat better than some folk :-(

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  10. Hi Sue , yes the same here and my church is always telling us about them , Yes they are in Sainsburys too ,,

    I do understand that there are really really poor people , that have nothing ,, through no fault of their own and as lOng as this is going to them I do help , it is the ones , that smoke , drink and have mobile phones etc ,, then they can afford food. I might seem a bit harsh ,but it is happening all over.

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    1. But usually the ones that smoke, drink and have all the latest gadgets are the least likely to bother to get referred to or even queue at a food bank, they think more of themselves than their children.

      Food Banks generally catch the folk that are about to slip below the net and give them a chance to get on their feet.

      The system can never be perfect, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

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  11. I started to donate at the beginning of this year already, and ever so often I put a small box of foods together that a volunteer driver/delivery person from my local Food Bank will collect from me, whenever I ring him. As you said, every little bit will help someone somewhere. It makes you feel good knowing that you might fill a child`s hungry belly with whatever you had donated. It`s good to care and think of others.
    My neighbour friend is on the breadline, too. I have been helping her for several years now, making food hampers for her birthdays and Christmas. I also collect stamps in a stamp book whenever I go and do my shopping at Tesco. Within a few month I usually manage to make up the stamp book to £50, and that also is given as a separate Christmas present to my friend. She can redeem those stamps in the shop to provide enough food for herself for Christmas time, when electricity bills are specially high due to the need of central heating. This way at least I know that she will feed herself properly during the winter. It`s good to care!

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    1. Wonderful. To be able to help someone on such a one to one level is absolutely brilliant. I'm sure she is so grateful to you Sarina.

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  12. Jack's post resonated with me too. I don't have much right now, just like everyone, but what I have I want to share. I'm going to donate at least one tin every week when I do my shopping. My local food bank has a trolley set up inside my local Sainsburys, so you can just drop things in when you finish your shop. We all need to look out for each other.

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    1. I wish our Sainsbury's would have a trolley available for donations to the Food Bank, but until they do I will drive to the one that does once a month.

      Even a single tin of peas for 22p will help someone. Just think if everyone just bought one extra tin or packet of pasta how much would be in the collection bin by the end of the day.

      Doing what you can is brilliant, you are doing something and that is the main thing. We do need to look out for each other - well said :-)

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  13. Someone we care about has received food parcels in the past and I know how much of a difference they made to her during difficult times in her life. Whenever I see the collections in the supermarkets I donate what I can at that time. Personally I find it much more satisfying to actually donate something rather than money in a tin. I didnt know about the National collection centres and will look for my local one tonight.

    Alison

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    1. My Mum used to get us a box of things together every now and then years ago when we were in dire straights and the boys were young (I kept it from her how bad things were mostly or no doubt she would have helped even more), and always a bag or two full of shopping and treats at Christmas time.

      You've no idea how wonderful it was to open my cupboard doors and look at row after row of tins and packets where a few hours ago there had been so little. I used to peek every time I went in the kitchen :-)

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  14. Thank you for writing about this. Although I live outside the UK, we have the same problem of more and more people needing help. I regularly donate to my food bank through my synagogue and worry that someday I may need to use the food bank myself.

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    1. Anyone of us could end up needing help, you never know what this life is going to throw your way!!

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    1. I do, and a big sense of responsibility!! :-)

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  16. The issue of food poverty will not even start to be impacted until food education, and budget education, are taught as standard subjects in our schools again. My generation (I left school in 1988) had next to no information imparted to us about how to cook basic meals, I was fortunate in that my Mum, Nan and Auntie were all excellent basic cooks, and passed their knowledge on to me. My generation now have children of an age to be leaving home and making their way in the world, and those children are doing this with no idea about making frugal basic meals and how to make your budget stretch! If people only know about buying "off the shelf" processed food, then that's what they will do.

    Foodbanks do a marvellous job, but it's a plaster over the wound, and not the stitches it so desperately needs to hold it together.

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    1. I agree entirely. I left school in 1976 (shhhh, don't tell everyone) and all I knew how to make proficiently was Apple Turnovers .... but they were delicious.

      My grans lived away from us and my Mum worked long hours, so I started out cooking for myself with Vesta Curries, I would have them most nights in the week.

      However at school we did learn to budget, what ever we were cooking or baking we had to work out how much the ingredients would cost for each of us and then times it by the number in the class and then go and buy the ingredients from the corner shop up the road from school, I used to volunteer for this with my friend as I got to have a craft fag on the way (gosh I'm giving away all my secrets today).

      Budgeting and cooking has to be on the timetable at secondary school, it's no use Mum's helping out at nursery and primary schools baking with the youngsters, if we then expect them to absorb how to look after themselves from thin air later in their school life.

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  17. I live in a fairly large city (1.2 million people) and we are the oil capital of Canada. We have a certain segment of the population that are very well off, but at the same time we have a larger number that are just scrapping by. We have had a food bank and many 'soup kitchens' for years. I think every large grocery store has a food bank bin, some stores even make up $5 and $10 packages of staples that you can buy and put in the food bank bin. Many of the more affluent schools have food bank collections at there monthly assemblies and at concerts. Most events that we can attend such as concerts, craft shows etc. ask for a donation of a non-perishable item. Many churches and groups do food drives several times a year. The sad thing is it never seems to be enough. There seems to be so many needy families. We are so fortunate that we can be on the giving end and not the receiving end. We just hope that we can give will help someone.

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  18. Here in Rossendale, we have RAFT - our own Foodbank Supplies for 7 days are sent to those in need, including fresh items such as milk, bread, cheese, vegetables and fruit. I will be spending part of Sunday afternoon helping to transfer items from our present storage area to a new (for a year) rent free one. Volunteers are always needed, this is how I do my bit. We need a lot of money and volunteer resource to keep going - we had to stop receiving referrals for a couple of weeks due to lack of volunteers - but this ensured that the two stalwarts of the organisation got a much needed break. It's all hands on deck again on Sunday though. Nobody was let down when referrals ceased though, as parcels were left in place with the people who referred clients on - if they needed help, the parcel was there to take.

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  19. It is the same everywhere. We have a food bank in our town , and we are a country supposedly doing well.

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