FOOD / ENERGY / CLOTHING BANKS : Trussells & Related News / Guidance / 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2017

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Ground zero ... Burton on Trent , South Derbyshire ... an article on food bank volunteers : ... run-917524

Food banks could not run without 'valuable volunteers' who dedicate 4.1 million hours of unpaid work to their duties.

Value of work by food bank volunteers is estimated at £30 million a year.

Food bank workers in Burton and South Derbyshire have been hailed "unsung heroes" whose efforts help provide 4.1 million hours of unpaid voluntary work across the UK every year.

Local food banks have had their efforts recognised after a new study revealed volunteers put in a "staggering" 4.1 million hours every year distributing food, fund-raising and other duties.

The value of the work has been estimated at £30 million a year if the volunteers were paid the national living wage. More than 700 independent food bank centres are now in operation, as well as the Trussell Trust's 1,235, with the number of people needing emergency supplies increasing dramatically as Universal Credit rolls out.

Paul Laffey, chief executive of Burton YMCA, which has been operating a food bank in the town for the last 16 years, said: "it simply would not operate without the valuable volunteers.

"Each person contributes in amazing ways from assisting to sorting the donated food into date order, making up emergency food parcels for each individual and family and liaising with staff on the distribution of the food.

"These are the unsung heroes of this type of work. They step up and contribute their time because they see that there is a need.

"The YMCA was delighted earlier this year to award one of our dedicated volunteers, Chris, the honour of "Adrian Bader - Volunteer of the Year". She was nominated by a number of staff because of her commitment, dedication and service to others.

"We saw that gradually she would come in extra days to support other volunteers and was very soon giving 35 hours a week to the food bank. That is a huge amount of voluntary contribution and Chris is just one of 10 amazing food bank volunteers that the YMCA would not be without."

Samantha Stapley of the Trussell Trust, said: "It is astonishing to see a value put to the amazing and tireless work done by food bank volunteers up and down the UK.

"Without this vital community support hundreds of thousands of people would be hungry, and with nowhere to turn.

"But it is equally important to remember that whilst food bank volunteers do inspiring work, they cannot replace the welfare safety net.

"Issues with benefit payments remain the main reason why people need a food bank parcel, and with issues caused by Universal Credit increasingly reported by food banks as a concern, we urge the Government to take steps to make sure people don't face going hungry."

The Burton Mail is currently running its Feed Our Families campaign to help local food banks feed families in Burton and South Derbyshire who may have fallen on hard times in the run-up to the festive period.

The campaign, now in its fourth year, will be sharing all items donated between the South Derbyshire CVS, The Eaton Foundation, The Salvation Army in Burton and Burton's branch of the YMCA.

How can you donate to Feed Our Families?

For many people Christmas is a happy time, but for some it can be anything but.

A few pounds could be the difference between a family in need eating or going hungry. Just 50p could buy a tin of soup, and help keep a child warm. So where can you donate? We are appealing for people to pop one extra tin in their weekly shop and donate that. Of course, if you can afford more that would be brilliant.

There will be drop-off points at Burton in Sainsbury's, in Union Street, and Sainsbury's, in Civic Way, Swadlincote, with many more businesses soon expected to get involved.

If you are a pupil at a local school, check if there is a donation point there and if not, ask your teachers to get your school involved.

Punch Taverns is backing the campaign, as are schools including Granville Academy and Paulet High School.

We want you, our generous readers, to also donate, whether that be setting up a collection point at your youth club or in the pub. If you want to get involved, please contact reporter Rhea Turner on 01283 245047 or email

And over the next few weeks we will bringing you stories of everyone who donates.

Editor Emma Turton calls for readers to back Feed Our Families

"After the incredible success of last year's Feed Our Families appeal it was a no-brainer that the Burton Mail would launch and run it again for 2017.

"We know finances are still tight for a lot of our readers, so we are not asking people for money or to dig too deep for the appeal: instead we are asking our readers to buy an extra tin or packet of food when they do their weekly shopping and drop it in to one of the collection points.

"We want to make sure the food banks in Burton and South Derbyshire have plenty of produce this Christmas, ready to be handed out to the people in our community who really need it this festive season.

"The response last year was phenomenal, the charities which shared the donations were overwhelmed with the generosity of our readers: we hope to match or beat last year when more than 15,000 items were donated.

"Already we have several schools, supermarkets and major employers in Burton and South Derbyshire on board.

"They have offered to set up donation boxes or run a donation day to boost the campaign.

"It really is fantastic to see, yet no surprise.

"I want to thank, in advance, every single reader who donates to make sure the most needy in our communities have food in their cupboards this Christmas."

Grass roots ... at it's finest.

What's more important is the clean pair of heels being shown to the traditional charities.

Donate a can of soup and the recipient receives a can of soup.

Not a quarter or half with the charity creaming off the top to meet " Expenses " !!!

If nothing else , those needing food banks are set to increase ... substainually ... as growth continues to slow allied with £ BILLIONS more in welfare cuts in the pipeland.
Ground zero ... Hackney , East London ... another local initiative : ... christmas/

Christmas (Baby Peas Come Home): Food banks to receive fresh produce courtesy of Growing Communities.

The community-driven Hackney non-profit is helping to make up for many food banks’ inability to store and hand out newly harvested food.

Users of both Clapton and Stoke Newington food banks will arrive to the rare sight of some fresh produce next week, courtesy of local food non-profit Growing Communities.

Commonly, food banks lack the capacity to effectively store and distribute fresh fruit, vegetables, and other perishable items.

Growing Communities are getting around this by disseminating what they describe as “bumper bags containing two weeks’ worth of produce” directly to the banks – at the Upper Clapton Foodbank Centre next Wednesday and Stoke Newington Foodbank on Thursday.

The Citizen has seen a likely breakdown of the goods on offer, which range from half-kilo packs of staples such as onions and carrots to a more seasonal selection of Christmas dinner faves like parsnips and brussels sprouts.

There will also be an array of fruit, and chutney made in Dagenham, where Growing Communities have an urban farm.

“People attending our foodbanks do really appreciate fresh fruit and veg when it is available,” said Colleen Beasley, Project Coordinator at Hackney Foodbank.

“Due to the way we are set up this is very rare and only usually happens when we can receive and disseminate the fresh produce on the same day (or thereabouts).”

“We have arranged to drop off the fresh fruit and veg on the days the banks are open, so it can be handed straight over to those who need it,” clarified GC veg scheme coordinator Jo Barber.

“The rest of the year, we donate leftover produce to local charities such as North London Action for the Homeless and refugee support charity Akwaaba, which are closed over Christmas.”

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest provider of food banks, is expecting December to be their busiest month nationally, and some trustees have expressed fears of food shortfalls or even some banks running dry entirely.

Growing Communities are helping to avert this catastrophe by relying on the generosity of their veg scheme members: “In our most recent research, some three-quarters of members told us they would be willing to donate at least some of their holiday bags to local food initiatives,” said Barber.

Alongside the drop-offs, the non-profit are also working on a project to cook fresh, organic ready meals from donated produce during peak holiday times throughout the year, further details of which will be announced soon.

As reported yesterday, Growing Communities are also supporting Black Cat vegan cafe’s free Christmas meal on 22 December.

The Upper Clapton food bank (St Thomas Clapton Common, Oldhill Street and Clapton Terrace, E5 9BW), with fresh produce from Growing Communities, will be open Wednesday 20 December from 17:00 to 18:45.

The Stoke Newington location (St Mary’s New Rooms, accessed via the Quiet Garden, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 9ES) will be open on Thursday 21 December from midday to 14:30.

Grass roots again ... showing a clean pair of heels to the Establishment.

May it continue ... manor by manor.
Ground zero ... Liverpool ... continuing the football theme : ... ce-everton

Sam Allardyce brands UK’s reliance on foodbanks a ‘disgrace’

• Everton manager sounds off after visit to North Liverpool foodbank
• ‘People who are in work cannot afford to live at a decent level’

Sam Allardyce has branded the growing number of foodbanks in Britain a national disgrace after visiting one in his role as Everton manager this week.

Allardyce, together with his assistant Sammy Lee, donated food on behalf of the club to the North Liverpool foodbank on Thursday. Supporters of Everton and Liverpool have held regular collections for the facility, one of 428 operated within the Trussell Trust Network, having set up the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative. Three wards surrounding Goodison Park are among the poorest in Europe, with up to 42% of families living under the Living Wage Foundation’s poverty line.

Allardyce was asked at a press conference to preview Saturday’s Premier League game against Chelsea how well he had settled into the job and the club’s community work. It seemed an innocuous question, aimed at highlighting Everton’s annual Christmas visit to Alder Hey children’s hospital that had taken place before the management team visited the food bank. His reply, however, brimmed with anger at the increasing reliance on food banks in the United Kingdom.

After praising the patients, parents and staff at Alder Hey, he said: “It’s extremely depressing that a country of this magnitude, and where it thinks it lies in itself, can allow so many foodbanks to be operating in this country.

“But for the goodwill of the Liverpool people, and the fans have a big say in the food bank that we went to – to donate food for people less fortunate than ourselves, it is going back to the dark ages to allow that to continue. And it’s not only continuing, it is growing at a rapid pace where people who are in work, not just on benefits, can’t afford to live at a decent level and have to go to foodbanks to feed themselves and their children.

“I think it’s incredibly sad that a country like ours has allowed that to happen and will continue to allow that to happen. I think it’s a disgrace, apart from the people who work in them. They are out of this world, absolutely top-drawer.”

According to The Trussell Trust’s latest statistics, 586,907 three-day emergency food supplies were given out between 1 April and 30 September this year – a rise of 67,565 on the same period last year – with 208,956 going to children. The North Liverpool Foodbank helps more than 250 people each week.

Ground zero ... Newcastle-upon-Tyne ... football theme continued : ... ll-poverty

Isaac Hayden: ‘We have mansions, yet people are queueing for food.’

The Newcastle midfielder visited the city’s West End Foodbank as the club’s fans and staff help the local community,

Only seven miles separate Newcastle’s West End Foodbank in Benwell and the north‑east footballers’ mecca of Darras Hall but they represent parallel universes.

“It’s crazy,” reflects Isaac Hayden, Newcastle United midfielder and occasional volunteer at an initiative now widely known as the NUFC fans food bank. “You think: ‘How is it we’ve got these massive mansions, yet a few miles up the road people are queueing for food?’”

Fifteen minutes’ drive north from Benwell the generous car park at the Ponteland branch of Waitrose is frequently jam-packed, while in neighbouring Darras Hall the average price of a detached property exceeds £1m, with some mini‑palaces fetching closer to £2.5m.

Hayden’s journey south to the food bank sweeps him past Newcastle’s fast-expanding international airport before continuing through upmarket, leafy Woolsington. Many locals are probably oblivious of the food bank’s existence, let alone the need for one.

Others have been made aware of its presence only because of the heavy involvement of Newcastle United and their fans in helping to underwrite what has become the UK’s largest food bank.

Season-ticket holders from the city’s affluent suburbs have been introduced to uncomfortable truths about the extreme social problems which sometimes exist barely a long goal-kick away from their comfortable homes.

They are not alone. Fans of other clubs involved in similar food-bank alliances – Bournemouth, Burnley, Everton, Huddersfield, Liverpool, Manchester City, Millwall and Queens Park Rangers among them – appreciate the depth of the culture shock involved.

“At first I thought it would be collecting a few cardboard boxes filled with tins of food,” says Bill Corcoran, a key instigator and driver of the NUFC fans initiative. “But then I was told about the scale of the problem, which causes the mind to boggle. I was taught things about what was going on in my city I never knew about.”

Corcoran’s tutor was Michael Nixon, who has just retired after five inspiring years in charge of the West End Food bank. Appropriately, Nixon received an ovation when he took to the stage to address fans gathered to question a panel of north-east football writers during a fund-raiser at Tyneside’s Irish Centre last Thursday night.

With organisers selling stylish black and white “Toon Aid” replica tops and hoodies and the discussion covering takeovers, transfers and Rafael Benítez’s future, the evening made more than £2,000. Significantly the Trussell Trust – which runs a network of more than 400 UK food banks – calculates that Newcastle United and their fans contributed more than £100,000 during 2017.

Many donations are made at the collection point outside St James’ Park which Nixon manned every home game and will now be staffed by his successor, John McCorry. Benítez has given generously and entertained Nixon as his “manager’s guest of honour” during last week’s draw with Burnley. and Lee Charnley, the oft-maligned club chief executive, is another staunch supporter.

Charnley has regularly completed shifts on the food distribution frontline as a low-profile, publicity‑shy, volunteer. “We can disagree with Newcastle United on many things,” says Corcoran, who knows that often modestly paid club staff make weekly financial offerings to the project. “But one thing we can agree on is how well it’s got behind the NUFC fans food bank.

“Whatever the problems on or off the pitch, we can be proud of the food bank collection. It’s shown the depth of compassion of Newcastle fans – the reservoir of goodwill that exists here.”

The need for such generosity is far from confined to Tyneside. After all Benwell’s clientele are a microcosm of a nationwide syndrome. “Fifteen per cent of people coming to us are on zero‑hours contracts,” says Nixon, who helped around 1,000 people a month, many neither unemployed or infirm. “They’re the working poor.”

Sam Allardyce is another who is suitably appalled. “It’s extremely depressing,” said Everton’s manager, who has become the public face of Everton’s work with the North Liverpool food bank, which assists more than 250 people a week. “People in work can’t afford to live at a decent level and have to go to food banks to feed themselves and their children. It’s incredibly sad that a country like ours has allowed that to happen. It’s going back to the dark ages. It’s a disgrace.”

If the area surrounding Goodison Park remains one of Europe’s poorest with up to 42% of families living beneath the poverty line, nor is Dorset immune from hunger.

Accordingly Bournemouth and their supporters have recently answered an appeal from their local food bank and organised supermarket trolley collections at home games. “It’s absolutely fantastic to have the club involved,” says Ed Briggs, warehouse manager at Bournemouth food bank. “We distribute to six different sites, mainly churches. In the last financial year, we fed almost 5,000 local people in crisis and demand is increasing.”

Four-bedroom terraced homes in Fulham’s Studdridge Street regularly sell for more than £2m but the road also houses the Hammersmith and Fulham food bank where organisers are grateful for QPR’s involvement. “People here are in desperate need,” says the club’s winger cum food bank volunteer, David Wheeler. “They can’t afford to buy food.”

Hayden struggles to comprehend the situation. “People don’t want extravagant things,” he says. “It’s cans of beans, cans of soup, cereal, bread, the basics – it’s about making sure they survive. It’s a different world. It’s sad it’s happening in the 21st century.”

North / south dividing line ?

The infamous " Hatfield and the North " sign on the M1 not a bad start ?

Abandon hope all ye who enter here ???

Fairly clear ... how about a close / at / below the Official Poverty Line " Dividing line ? "

On map of the UK , hardly any area without a few dots ... some much larger than others if measure by numbers ???

A few mentions around of both codes of rugby clubs , union and league , with schemes which follow the lead of the football clubs.
Ground zero ... Dumbarton , Scotland ... major initiative by a supermarket chain : ... d_poverty/

Asda teams up with FareShare and Trussell Trust to help million out food poverty.

ASDA has teamed up with food redistribution charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help one million people out of food poverty over the next three years.

The supermarket will invest at least £20 million in developing the infrastructure of FareShare, which operate a distribution network for food donations and The Trussell Trust, who are the UK’s biggest operator of foodbanks.

Asda’s investment will allow the two charities to develop their infrastructure and offer better services to those in need.

Currently, both charities struggle to transport and store fresh food, which needs to be chilled, and means those using food banks are reliant on mainly tinned and packet foods.

The investment will also fund support services in food banks, such as debt counselling and job advice, allowing people to begin to get themselves out of food poverty.

Asda has also committed to making sure all of its shops are able to donate surplus food to food banks by 2020.

The partnership will enable FareShare and The Trussell Trust to provide an additional 24 million meals every year, give 500,000 more people access to fresh food in the UK and help one million people get themselves out of food poverty over the next three years.

Andy Murray, Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “Right now, in the UK 8.4 million people are struggling to afford to eat. One in 10 people in the UK are missing meals to pay their bills - and one in four of those are children. And yet, four million tonnes of perfectly decent food is wasted each year in the UK.

“We simply cannot – and will not – accept food being wasted whilst people in our communities go hungry. We’ve listened to our customers and want to take on their challenge to fight hunger and create change.”

One on board , others to follow ?

One remour ... chain of smaller sized convienence stores to be converted to food banks with advice centres.

At last , action at the grass roots level !!!
Straight off the Trussells web site : ... d-poverty/

Asda, The Trussell Trust and Fareshare launch £20 million partnership to help a million people out of food poverty.

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership between Asda, The Trussell Trust and FareShare in a three year programme that will prove transformative for people facing hunger in our communities.

The Fight Hunger Create Change programme will give support directly to foodbanks across the UK to expand their services to help more people in crisis, and enable us to develop our More Than Food projects, such as holidays clubs and Eat Well Spend Less courses, that help build resilience so people are less likely to need a foodbank in the future. And in partnership with FareShare it will also create a delivery structure of fresh food to foodbanks.

“Thank you for the help you have given me at such a tough time in my life. It’s true, people can generally live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 minutes without air but I know that individuals can only live 1 second without hope. You gave me that hope and I am so thankful.”

This is the kind of response we hear from people referred to foodbanks across the UK every year. Since The Trussell Trust was founded 21 years ago, the demand for emergency food has risen at an alarming rate. Last year almost 1.2 million three day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis by foodbanks in our network.

Our partnership with Asda and FareShare will support our target of ending UK hunger. In addition to developing our More Than Food projects and delivering fresh food, it will help us continue to fund research into the causes of hunger so we can find long-term solutions, and will be able to fund more staff to support the foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network who are on the frontline for local people facing crisis and lacking hope.

FareShare will be increasing its capacity to support local charities and community groups and partnering with 400 Trussell Trust foodbanks to deliver a fresh food proposition into their operations, thereby providing a greater variety of nutritious food for people using their service, and which will in turn increase health and wellbeing.

Sam Stapley, Head of Operations England at The Trussell Trust

“The scale and nature of this funding is unprecedented. Asda’s investment means we can offer even better support to foodbanks in our network and work towards a society where no one faces hunger in the future, bringing very real, tangible benefits to local communities and to anyone struggling to afford food in a way that simply has not been possible before.”

The question that any reader should ask is " Why ? "

Why does it take a charitable organisation to put food on the table , and heat in their homes , for many of our most vunerable citizens ?

Answer ?

Our Government is NOT fulfilling it's number one priority.

To protect it's citizens ... in both social and economic terms !
Food bank discrimination has to be tackled ... read on : ... edb93ba233


Food banks need your help more than ever, let’s do something about it.

On Wednesday 7th March, Manchester South Central Foodbank fed 28 people experiencing food insecurity. The Trussell Trust manages over 400 food banks across the UK and along with the churches, mosques, temples, independent charities and community centres that hand out food aid, the estimated number of food banks in the UK comes in at a rather dizzying figure of 2,000. It’s the unpleasant reality of austerity Britain.

Whilst food banks do their best to provide as much support as possible, it’s very common for us to hear that people using the food bank feel ashamed, embarrassed and stressed because of their situation. No matter how many cups of tea and chocolate biscuits we give out during your food bank visit, it’s not going to alleviate the pressure experienced by someone who is struggling through food poverty. One of the most common words that you hear at a food bank is “sorry.”

“Sorry that I’m here. Sorry that I have to rely on emergency food parcels. Sorry to trouble you with my problems.”

If somebody experiences homelessness, domestic violence, benefit sanctions or redundancy then they shouldn’t feel like they need to apologise. We find that food bank clients have often postponed their food bank use until the very last minute, often skipping meals to feed their children and living without heating and electricity before they are willing to resort to requesting emergency food vouchers.

In fact, evidence gathered by The University of Manchester showed that some political commentators have accused food bank users of being ‘opportunists’ who ‘live like animals’ and ‘spend their money on tattoos.’ Wow, it’s good to see some great political minds at work solving our country’s social and economic problems, isn’t it?

Food poverty & health

Along with the discrimination associated with food bank use, it’s widely acknowledged that poverty increases the risk of physical and mental health issues. Men living in England’s most deprived areas can expect to live 9.2 years less than men living in wealthier parts of the country. Food poverty causes sustained stress and anxiety, which can damage the way that your body functions.

According to, mental health issues have the potential to damage a person’s academic and professional performance thus leaving them at a higher risk of economic disadvantage or marginalisation.

Alongside that, children living in poverty are more likely to develop issues with their mental health in comparison to their more affluent counterparts. The Child Poverty Action Group tells us that approximately 30% of children in the UK are living in poverty. So mental health and poverty seem chained together in a bit of a vicious circle - one feeds the other, and so both issues continue to spiral into graver severity.

Tackling Stigma

Thankfully, with the work of charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, the stigma attached to the subject of mental health problems is gradually dwindling. Fortunately, conversations about mental health no longer provoke the extreme awkwardness of yesteryear - it’s slowly becoming more commonplace to discuss it thanks to initiatives run by forward-thinking organisations like Time To Change Mental Health.

However, discrimination remains to be an enormous problem specifically for people using food banks, but hopefully by raising awareness of the severity of food poverty, we can try to tackle that as well. Now that Christmas is over, food banks seem to have drifted out of the headlines but the school holidays are looming and that typically brings widespread hunger amongst families who rely on school meals to feed their children.

What you can do to help

Food banks need your help more than ever, let’s do something about it. Forget what the politicians say, people who need food banks aren’t invisible and they do not deserve to be treated like second class citizens, they need your support. Please donate tinned food items, organise a cake sale to raise funds or sign up to help your local food bank in their warehouse. Even if this article encourages just a handful of people to donate to their local food bank, then it will have been worth writing it.

A well written ... and poignant ... article.
Ground zero ... Salford , Manchester conurbation : ... e-14442128

" If the food bank was not here, I would be out shoplifting. "

One foodbank user said he was on the brink of stealing to feed himself before being offered help. Salford council has now put £75,000 into a new plan to tackle hunger in the city

Demand at foodbanks in Salford has rocketed by almost a third in a year - with one user admitting he was close to stealing to feed himself before he started receiving emergency packages.

More than 5,000 food parcels were handed out in the city last year. Half of them were for households with children.

The 29 per cent increase in demand has prompted the council to put £75,000 into a new plan to tackle hunger.

Two extra foodbank outlets, in Eccles and Irlam and Cadishead, have already been opened to help the ever-increasing number of people needing emergency parcels.

There were already bases at Mocha Parade and Salford Quays.

Four new ‘food clubs’ have also been set up, with plans to create more across the city.

All the food supplied to the clubs, which serve 200 households,is excess produce from local supermarkets which would otherwise go to waste.

Members can buy a basket full of food staples - such as bread, cereal, milk and vegetables - at reduced prices.

One foodbank user said he was on the brink of stealing to feed himself before being offered help.

John, not his real name, said he had become desperate after waiting nine weeks for Universal Credit payments.

He said he would ‘rather be back in jail’ after finding himself destitute.

“For nine weeks I had to rely on my mum,” he said.

“It’s a nightmare and I’d rather be back in jail, I really I would.

“I’m getting depressed all the time. I live now on £91 a fortnight. How can you live on that? I can’t.

“I just have to shop in pound shops and try to get offers.

“I don’t want owt for nowt, but I have nothing to pay with.”

Deputy Salford mayor Paula Boshell said: “Rising prices, stagnant wages and the impact of harsh benefit changes continue to make life very difficult for some of our residents – and we anticipate more problems when Universal Credit is fully rolled out in Salford later this year.

“One in 36 households in Salford needed help with food in 2016 and we have seen numbers continue to rise in 2017.

“Foodbanks do a fantastic job and will continue to be vital to helping people in emergencies, but we need to expand our city’s capacity to manage donated food.

“People in food crisis need more intensive support over a longer period. Food clubs are a way of doing that and reducing the pressure on food banks.

“We’re also offering support to food club members through our health improvement service which has expertise in healthy eating and low cost cookery.”

Salford foodbank manager Mark Whittington said demand was outstripping food donations.

The team, he added, was only able to meet demand because of cash donations, which they use to restock shelves.

In 2016, the foodbank handed out 3,901 parcels from bases at Mocha Parade and Salford Quays.

It passed the 4,000 mark for 2017 by October.

Mr Whittington said: “The food donations have not dropped at all, but client numbers have increased, so we have not had enough food to meet demand.

“Some people and churches do fundraisers for us, but we have been spending about £1,000 a month and we do not have a bottomless fund.

“Everyone should have access to good food and our figures show food insecurity and food poverty are rising.”

Foodbank user John said benefits changes have hit people hard in Salford.

“A lot of people have been hurt now from Universal Credit,” he added.

“I feel I shouldn’t be moaning, but they’re not giving people what they should.

“That first wait is horrible. I got into £810 debt. I went to a guy to borrow some money, and to friends, but other people would not be able to get that help.

“I rang the Universal Credit line and they said to ring the council.

“I rang the council again and that time I was breaking down. They rang me back and put me in touch with the food bank. That’s how it goes.

“I might have had to steal if it had not been for that. It was easier in jail because you get what you really need. If the food bank was not here, I would be out shoplifting, just to get something for my stomach.”

Now , some schools are mobilising to meet the challenge of hungry children head on :

Child poverty : Pale and hungry pupils " Fill pockets with school food. "

Malnourished pupils with grey skin are "filling their pockets" with food from school canteens in poor areas due to poverty, head teachers say.

The heads, from various parts of England and Wales, described how some of their poorest pupils looked thinner, had poor teeth and a grey pallor.

One head said: "My children have grey skin, poor teeth, poor hair, they are thinner."

The government said measures were in place to tackle poverty.

Lynn, a head teacher from a former industrial town in Cumbria, did not want to give her full name for fear of shaming families in her school community.

She was one of a number of head teachers speaking to reporters at the National Education Union conference in Brighton.

They were highlighting the issues faced by an increasing number of children growing up in poverty, and how their experiences affect their education.

'Grubby clothes'

Lynn said that hunger was particularly apparent after the weekend.

She said: "Children are filling their pockets with food. In some establishments that would be called stealing. We call it survival."

Another head teacher from Nottinghamshire, Louise Regan, said: "When you take children out to an event, maybe a sporting event, you see children of the same age from schools in an affluent area.

"It's the grey skin, the pallor. It's the pallor you really notice."

She went on: "Monday morning is the worst.

"There are a number of families that we target that we know are going to be coming into school hungry.

"By the time it's 9.30am they are tired."

She said her school supplied some pupils with clean uniforms, and that they often came back in the same clothes, grubby, after the weekend.

The school has a food bank which gives out food parcels and a supply of clothes, shoes and coats for those without.
Poverty and neglect

Lynn said: "We have washing machines and we are washing the children's clothes while they do PE.

"We wouldn't have it that these children are stigmatised because their clothes are dirty."

The school also runs a summer school for three weeks over the holidays, run voluntarily by teaching staff without pay.

Howard Payne, a head at an inner city school in Portsmouth, said there had been a four-fold increase in the number of children with child protection issues.

"Every one of these issues has had something to do with the poverty that they live in," he said.

"It's neglect. It's because they and their families don't have enough money to provide food, heating or even bedding."
Hot meals

Mr Payne, who provides debt-counselling and family support at his school, said: "Three weeks ago, many schools in our area closed because of the snow.

"I kept ours open because I was really worried about the children - that they wouldn't have a hot meal to eat that day.

He said about 45% of pupils came into the school to eat that day.

All the heads said things were getting worse as social and emotional support services are disappearing.

The comments came as the NEU published research it had carried out with the Child Poverty Action Group.

It found schools are increasingly stepping in to fill the poverty gap, with almost half of the 900 respondents saying their school offered one or more anti-poverty services such as a food bank, clothes bank and even offering emergency loans to families.

'Proud families'

More than four-fifths said they say saw signs of children being hungry during the day and about the same said they say children showing signs of poor health.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: "With nine children in every classroom of 30 falling below the official poverty line, it is time to rebuild the safety net for struggling families."

Lynn added: "My families are proud. Some of these parents are working two or three jobs and can't access the benefits system.

"They are just a few pounds over - they have less money than those on benefits."

Jane Jenkins, a head teacher from Cardiff, said children in her school often only brought a slice of bread and margarine for lunch and that teachers supplemented this.

"It's really difficult and when people are asking you about standards, why we don't go up the league tables?

"That's often a secondary consideration."

The Department for Education said it wanted to create a country where everyone could go as far as their talents could take them.

"That's why we launched our social mobility action plan, which sets out measures to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers and targets areas that need the most support through the £72m Opportunity Areas programme."

A spokesman also highlighted the £2.5bn it invests in disadvantaged pupils through the Pupil Premium and a recent £26m investment in breakfast clubs.

No , not a report from a hundred years ago !

It is happening across the country on every day of the school week.

" Grey skin " ... I hope that does not become a derogatory remark to be thrown around in schools by pupils from families with more resources !!!
More along similar lines from the Guardian : ... sh-schools

Teachers warn of growing poverty crisis in British schools.

Schools plugging gaps left by social services budget cuts as poverty becomes more extreme.

Extreme child poverty is worsening across the UK, with schools increasingly forced to fill in the gaps being left by councils and social services budget cuts, school leaders have said.

Headteachers from schools in deprived areas of England, Wales and Northern Ireland say they are having to provide basic services such as washing school uniforms for pupils from poor households, and are even paying for budget advice and counselling services for parents.

Teachers and school leaders also said they were regularly providing sanitary products such as tampons for pupils, buying shoes and coats in winter, and in some cases giving emergency loans in cash to families.

The experiences of the school leaders are borne out by the findings of a survey published on Monday by the Child Poverty Action Group and the National Education Union (NEU), which is holding its annual conference in Brighton over Easter.

In the survey of 900 teachers, 60% said child poverty in schools had worsened since 2015, and one in three said it had got significantly worse.

“Poverty on paper seems to be getting better, our number of free school meals seems to be going down, but the reality is completely the reverse – poverty is just becoming more and more extreme. Benefit entitlement rules are shutting more and more families out of the system,” said Jane Jenkins, the headteacher of an inner-city primary school in Cardiff.

“It is really tough. When people are asking you about standards and why a school is not higher in the league tables, often that is very much a secondary consideration for us these days. More and more, for third-sector ‎services and children’s services, the pressures that those services are under are absolutely massive. So school is now the only agency where children and parents are getting that sort of support.”

Howard Payne, the headteacher of a primary school in Portsmouth, said: “Over the last 18 months the number of child protection issues I have seen has increased fourfold – and I’m in a small school. Every single one of those issues has been related to poverty, debt, not eating enough, and that has increased dramatically.”

During the snowstorms this winter, Payne said, he kept his school open when other schools in the area were closed. “I kept ours open because I was really worried about the number of children who wouldn’t get a hot meal that day,” Payne said.

Several school leaders said they had noticed a visible difference in health and stature between children from their schools in deprived areas and those from better-off areas.

One headteacher from a school in Cumbria, who did not want to be named, said she was shocked to witness the differences between former pupils from her school and those from other primaries.

“My children, who have gone from me up to the local secondary school, have grey skin, poor teeth, poor hair, poor nails. They are smaller, they are thinner,” she said.

“At sporting events, you see your children in the year group compared to other children in an affluent area and you think: our kids are really small. You don’t notice it because you’re with them all the time, but when you see them with children of the same age who are from an affluent area, they just look tiny.”

Other school leaders reported having to clean pupils’ school uniforms, especially after weekends when some children from poor households had no way of washing their clothes.

“We are expected to be social workers, to be carers, doctors, we are expected to deal with every issue at the same time as doing all the other things that government wants us to do,” said Louise Regan, the head of a primary school in Nottinghamshire.

“We have a food bank, so we give out food parcels, particularly on Fridays, we buy clothing, we do a lot of buying, particularly coats in winter and shoes,” Regan said. “We’ve had children who haven’t come to school because they didn’t have shoes. We’ve gone and bought shoes, taken them to their house and brought the child into school.”

The headteachers, all delegates attending the NEU’s conference, said Mondays were often the worst days, with children arriving in school hungry and tired after a weekend with little food.

Celia Dignam, an NEU official responsible for child poverty, said the union’s survey revealed the reality of 4.1 million children living in poverty.

“Schools, as well as educating children, are now a safety net, particularly for children in poverty,” Dignam said, noting that the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated that 5 million children would be living in poverty by 2021.

“This is not a situation that is getting better, it’s actually getting significantly worse,” she said.

The survey found that 55% of teachers felt free school meal provision did not come close to meeting the needs of pupils from poor backgrounds.

“From 2022 there’s going to be an income threshold for universal credit, so there are children currently entitled to free school meals who will not be getting them,” said Dignam. “We’re heading for an absolute crisis. You think we’ve got a crisis now but it’s going to get even worse unless we see some policy change from government.”

The NEU argues that all children whose families are receiving universal credit should become eligible for free school meals.

Although child poverty sits outside of the Department for Education’s remit, the DfE has allowed pupil premium funding to be used for poverty alleviation.

“We continue to support the most disadvantaged children [in England] through free school meals, the £2.5bn funding given to schools through the pupil premium to support their education and the recently announced £26m investment to kickstart or improve breakfast clubs in at least 1,700 schools,” a DfE spokesperson said.

Last week the education minister Nadhim Zahawi announced funding for research into ways of supporting disadvantaged families during the school holidays, to overcome “holiday hunger”.

Welcome to this Sad New World ... chidren ... the innocent victims.

In an ironic way , at least some parents will not now have to mortgage their futures to bury their child ?
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