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FOOD / Energy / Clothing BANKS : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018 - Page 26 - Carers UK Forum

FOOD / Energy / Clothing BANKS : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
394 posts
Argument between Simon Duffy and Conservative MEP on Politics show

Read in full on link below
https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/food-banks- ... ive-video/
Trying to " Justify " food banks ... or ... " Not our fault ? "

Cheers , may watch later ... comedy hour ?

" Play up Pompey ... etc " ... ???
Yet another footie related article ... with a difference :

Bolton Wanderers set up emergency food bank to help staff after wages go unpaid.

Bolton Wanderers have set up an emergency food bank with donations from local businesses to help out staff who have not been paid.

During a turbulent year for the club on and off the field, non-playing employees have not been paid for April.

The Trotters, who were relegated to League One this season, became the first club to enter administration for six years on Monday.

"We're grateful for the support," club chaplain Phil Mason said.

"Often there is this perception that within football, people are paid a king's ransom, but of course the reality is that a lot of staff behind the scenes are on significantly low wages.

"They've got mortgages or rent to pay, they may have something coming up within their family and they've got food to put on the table as well as get to and from work."

It has been a tough season for the club, with players still to receive their salaries for March and April, alongside a return to League One after two seasons in the Championship.

Businesses have helped provide toiletries and nappies, as well as tinned goods, pasta, rice, freezer meals, frozen vegetables and bread.

And the Community Trust have also been given assistance from within the wider football community, including an unnamed Championship club believed to be Preston North End.

"It's tremendous that we've had support from a Championship club," Mason told BBC Radio Manchester.

"They have donated a significant amount in terms of Asda and Sainsbury's vouchers so we can use those in order to get additional provisions for the food supplies that we're offering to staff."

'Staff are anxious about the future'

Some staff have found the ongoing problems at the club have exacerbated existing mental health issues, and the Trust is offering support and counselling to those who need it.

"It's incredibly stressful for staff, there's no doubt about that," Mason said.

"The reality is, one in three or four people will have mental health issues and they can be triggered by a whole variety of things, not least of course the fact a person has not been paid or is not sure when they will be paid,

"They're anxious about the future of the organisation they work for, they don't know whether they're going to be kept on or made redundant and all those issues end up in places of stress and anxiety and that has an impact upon relationships at home, at work, and how they feel about themselves and their own self worth."
Britain's shame as teachers have to turn to foodbanks to feed hungry school kids.

A secondary school is West Bromwich has so many children going hungry that teachers rely on a foodbank to supply food.

At a school in West Bromwich, a van pulls up unloading boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s not a normal supermarket delivery.

At this school, so many of the pupils were going hungry that it’s supplied by a foodbank.

More than half of the pupils at Sandwell Valley School should be eligible for a free meal, but because of benefit delays – including problems with Universal Credit and children waiting for asylum claims – the school only gets funding for around one in 10.

Teachers decided they couldn’t bear to see hungry children watching other kids eat any more. Support from the foodbank means some children receive free school meals, while food is heavily subsidised for others.

“I pay £2 towards my school dinners a week,” Brian, one of the pupils tells us at lunchtime. “It’s a very good idea. With a good meal, we absorb more information during lessons because we have food in our stomachs. It’s nice because you can bond with other students while eating. I really enjoy the patties.”

Attiya in Year 10 says the scheme has changed how she learns. “Having a good lunchtime meal has improved my confidence,” says the 14-year-old.

“I am more alert in lessons and I’m not afraid to answer a question or read in front of the class. My favourite meal is the tomato pasta.”

Parent Emma Withey says it’s a ­brilliant idea. “It is a massive help financially for me. I don’t know what I would do otherwise,” she admits.

The Salma Food Bank delivers fresh fruit, vegetables and other food three times a week, and the freezer is kept topped up by local employer Cleone Foods, using food that would otherwise be wasted.

With the supplies, school chef Rachel Osei Appau makes pasta, veggie curry, egg-fried rice and biryani. Today, the children also have watermelon and ice cream for dessert.

“We set up the free school meal and reducing food waste initiative so we can make sure our children can eat,” says the school’s principal Mim Hall.

“Meals are free for many children, and the rest are heavily subsidised – parents pay £3 for the week or ­whatever they can afford.

“Since we started offering free school meals, we have noticed a vast improvement in the pupils’ concentration.

“We are also trying to tackle food waste as well as make sure our pupils are not going hungry. The Food Bank supplies the school with perishable foods such as vegetables and fruit, which would normally go to waste.

“The food delivered by Cleone Foods is produce which can’t be sold in supermarkets because the packaging is damaged.”

Sandwell Valley is a unique school, founded in 2016 to support pupils struggling on the margins of the state education system. It is independent, but funded socially through charities and local companies.

The foodbank, based in Smethwick, was set up in 2016 by Imran Hameed, in memory of his late mother Salma Parveen.

The youngest of five siblings, he was just 16 when his mother passed away. “When I asked my father what my mother was like,” Imran, 39, says. “He replied, ‘ask the neighbour’.

“Mrs Linton said my mother went round to her house with food and to have a chat and although she couldn’t understand Mrs Linton, because Mum’s English wasn’t great, Mum would put her thumbs up.

Mrs Linton said, ‘Your mum was like my sister’. My mother would integrate with everyone ­regardless of their background.”

Imran and his wife Amna founded the Salma Food Bank, delivering food directly to those in need within three hours.

Over the last three years, volunteers have delivered food parcels to 40,000 people across the West Midlands using 135 ­volunteer drivers.

Imran is also the founder of Bearded Broz, a local community group that helped clean the streets after the Birmingham bin strikes and helped families at Grenfell Tower.

“Over the last few years, we have helped some lovely people from all different backgrounds,” he said.

“I didn’t think poverty happened in England, I used to just think it happened in Africa or Pakistan – I didn’t know it was happening down the road. Over the years I have seen people rummaging in bins to eat and I’ve ­delivered food to people living in tents.”

Now his foodbank is supplying a secondary school, in 2019, in Britain, the sixth richest country in the world.

A Government spokesperson said:
“Free school meals support 1.1m of the most disadvantaged pupils – saving families hundreds of pounds each year.

“Under our revised criteria – introduced last April – we estimate that more children will benefit from free meals by 2022, compared to the previous benefits system.
“Asylum seekers with a claim under consideration are entitled to free school meals. Those granted refugee status can access full mainstream benefits.”
Ground zero ... Great Yarmouth , Norfolk ,,, a manor I know only too well !

Shop owner who set-up food bank says Tories " Not interested " in solving poverty in town.

A shop owner who set-up a food bank in Great Yarmouth three years ago believes Tory councillors are " Not interested " in solving the issue of poverty in the town.

Paul Higgs of Refreshingly Different in Northgate Street has made the claim after Conservative councillor Paul Hammond said residents may use food banks to "top up their larders'" at a council meeting on Thursday night.

Mr Hammond represents the Yarmouth North ward in which North Denes Primary set up its own food bank in response to poverty in the borough.

Mr Higgs, 51, moved to Great Yarmouth five years ago and was shocked by the level of deprivation in the town.

Desperate to help, the 51-year-old opened a community store in 2014 which sold food at considerably lower prices than is available on the shelves of supermarkets.

Although Mr Higgs was able to help several residents who visited his shop he was still concerned by the number of people who could not afford to eat.

He therefore made the decision to convert his community store into a charity shop - which sells jewellery and clothes - while turning his storeroom into a food bank.

"It was heartbreaking to know how many people were struggling to get by," he said.

"I knew if there was a way I could help I wanted to do it and I thought this would be the best option to make a difference."

Mr Higgs' store feeds 50 people a month with four to five residents relying on the food bank on a weekly basis.

The shop owner buys his food at an auction in Norfolk and also receives donations from supermarkets.

Dial - a Great Yarmouth-based charity for people in need - provide residents with a voucher which they can use to pick up their supplies from Refreshingly Different.

Mr Higgs acknowledged what Mr Hammond was trying to suggest at the council meeting but said he "totally missed the point".

He said: "I do agree there are people using food banks who are not in desperate need.

"This then makes it difficult for us to help those who really need it.

"But, I do think they [Conservative councillors] are not interested in solving this problem.

"Mr Hammond has totally missed the point."

Leader of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Conservative group in the town Carl Smith, said it was a "priority" for the council to support those in need.

The leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth Trevor Wainwright has labelled Mr Hammond's comments as "appalling".

Mr Wainwright said: "I find his statement absolutely scandalous. It shows how much little he knows about Great Yarmouth."

For the first quarter of 2019, charities across the borough handed out 2,908 food parcels an increase of 39pc compered with this time last year.

Mr Wainwright said the work residents do to support those in need was great but reinforced the message that they should not have to do this in 2019.

"To think it is the 21st century and people are relying on food banks is quite shocking," he said.

"The Tories should be utterly ashamed of themselves. It is appalling"

Mr Wainwright's views were echoed by councillors in the Nelson ward who described the statements made at the council meeting as "shocking" on the ward's Facebook page.

Mr Hammond retained his seat in the Yarmouth North ward earlier this month by two votes ahead of Labour's Sandra Lysaght.
Often overlooked but equally important in the UK of 2019 ... poverty does NOT discriminate :

The Islamic food banks helping British Muslims, and non-Muslims, survive poverty.

Islamic ethos and Hadiths inspire one man to feed Britain’s poor.

Imran Hameed lost his mother 22 years ago when he was just 17 years old. She never let anyone go without food, he remembers, nor would she let someone in need go without help.

She would often go on holiday to Pakistan, not to see her own family but to visit hospitals and listen to patients' concerns. It was in her name, as sadaqah jariyah (a form of giving that extends past a person’s lifetime and helps those in the future), that Hameed set up the UK’s only 24/7 emergency food bank.

He hit upon the inspiration on the 27th night of Ramadan in 2016, commonly known as Laylat Al Qadr, the Night of Power, when it is said that angels descend from heaven and the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed some 1,410 years ago. In the three years since his inspired night, Salma Food Bank has delivered 40,000 food parcels to doorsteps and donated 420 tonnes of food in the West Midlands, an area surrounding Birmingham, Britain’s "second city" about 160 kilometres from London.

“I’m a Muslim, and my religion teaches me that I’m not a believer if I don’t feed you when you’re hungry, regardless of who you are. It’s an integral part of my faith. Doesn’t matter if it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, an emergency is an emergency.”

Hameed works on the ethos inspired by a Hadith emblazoned on a banner that greets all outside the Salma Food Bank: “The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said he is not a Muslim that goes to bed satisfied while his neighbour goes hungry."


But Hameed doesn’t just serve Muslims. About 95 per cent of his food parcel recipients are non-Muslims living in the local area. He has 150 volunteer drivers ready to respond at any given notice 24 hours of the day – and 80 per cent of the food bank’s volunteers are non-Muslim.

Hameed is “proudly British and proudly Muslim”, and is adamant that charity starts at home.

“Allah put us here in Britain and gave us good fortune here for a reason, and thereafter gave us people in need for a reason. He is the bigger planner. I’m all for people giving money away across the world, but look at home first. And for me, home is here in Britain.”

Four million people in Britain live in poverty despite having jobs. In total, 14 million people – a fifth of the population – live in poverty and 1.5 million cannot afford basic essentials.

Food bank use has soared 19 per cent in the past year, with more than 1.6 million three-day emergency food parcels being handed out between April 2018 and March 2019, says food poverty charity the Trussell Trust. Those in need include Muslims fasting for Ramadan.

This is where the Bearded Broz, a humorous name for Hameed's all-hours operation to help the needy, step in. Wearing high-visibility vests and up working when others would be sleeping at noon while fasting, Hameed and his volunteers toil away at packing special Ramadan food parcels containing everything from cooking oil and ghee to chickpeas and flour – the essentials of any iftar.

Packed and ready to go in a van, the Bearded Broz team deliver a round of Ramadan food parcels packed with beans, rice, flour, cooking oil and a bag of rice big enough for a family. Moving around the streets of Birmingham, one drop-off is for a family of seven, asylum seekers from the Middle East, who have a budget of £25 (Dh117) a week and are barred from finding work, with one child paralysed from the waist down.

Minutes later, a parcel is dropped off to a British-Asian single mother on £70 a week. She finds her money is spent on food and commuting, with the only luxury being swimming lessons for her daughter. Another Muslim woman who receives her Ramadan emergency food parcel is thought to be a domestic violence victim.

Hameed and his team are on the front line, often called by police and local authorities as the last resort to tackle social inequality.

He says that many recipients are victims of a revised welfare system, known as universal credit, that has left families and individuals unable to manage on monthly payments that used to be given fortnightly.

“There is more poverty than we think there is and it’s right on our doorstep, whether that be the UAE or Britain," he says.

Ramadan also brings in a greater number of donations to food banks, says Zahra Hussain of London’s Sufra food bank and kitchen.

“We get a lot more people, just individuals coming and donating,” she says. ”We also have a lot more mosques that get in touch with us.”

“They're heightened in their spirituality which means that they want to give more.”

The team at Sufra aren’t just passively accepting donations. As part of an ongoing project to assist Syrian refugees resettled in the UK, they are holding a charitable iftar to raise money and help their 80 charges make new friends in the community. The food bank has also devised a downloadable giving calendar to encourage children to donate during the fasting period and their community garden manager, an Irish Catholic, is fasting over Ramadan to raise money for vegetable seeds.

"Integration is a huge issue with the refugees who arrive in England,” says Sufra’s refugee resettlement officer Ibrahim Mohammed.

“Ramadan has always been a good point for [the refugees] to integrate with other people."
Volunteer drivers needed at busy Leeds foodbank " Forced to close for two months."

A Leeds foodbank is in vital need of new volunteer drivers after being forced to shut for an estimated period of eight weeks.

The Trussell Trust's Leeds North and West Foodbank service suspended its branch in Bramley, its "busiest by a long way", at the beginning of the month because it had too few volunteers.

Distribution centre manager Tricia Ryder estimates that around 30 vouchers are usually redeemed for three-day emergency packs at the branch every Wednesday - but that could be catering for a number of people in one household - meaning hundreds people in the area may be deprived of last-resort meal donations during the closure.

She said: "You can imagine just how difficult a decision it was for us to make.

"It's our busiest centre and nobody want to close something that is supporting vulnerable people in the community."

Anyone who wishes to sign up as a volunteer driver would need to apply, provide two references and be interviewed before their training takes place.

Families who would have used the centre for food packs can use others in thearea, although Mrs Ryder acknowledged some can not afford the bus fare.

The nearest centre is the new Armley branch, which opens at the Helping Hands facility in Strawberry Lane between 10am and noon on Thursdays.

Some hungry families not using Leeds food banks 'because they're too embarrassed'

Leeds North and West Foodbank provided 11,710 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis between April 2018 to March 2019.

But Mrs Ryder says there has been a 30 per cent increase in the use of the Leeds North and West and the South and East services since last year, surpassing the national upswing of 13 per cent.

Labour MP for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves, also today appealed for support.

She said: "Sad news that Bramley Foodbank has been forced to close for two months due to lack of volunteers.

"Without more drivers, they will be unable to support the most vulnerable in our society. Can you help ?"

To sign up, visit the service's website at ... https://leedsnorthandwest.foodbank.org.uk/
I have always said that ANY Government's prime responsibility is to protest it's most vulnerable citizens against the ravishes of the free market economy.

Growing demand for food banks " A human rights failure. "

Demand for food aid in the UK is continuing to rise, including among families with parents who have jobs.

Families forced to use food banks in the UK are being denied a fundamental human right, according to a new report.

With demand for food aid continuing to rise, Human Rights Watch, a New York-based NGO, claims the UK government is failing to meet its duty under international law to ensure the right to adequate food.

Its report - Nothing Left In The Cupboards: Austerity, Welfare Cuts, And The Right To Food In The UK - is based on research in three deprived areas of England, but the group says the government's human rights responsibilities extend to all parts of the UK.

Kartik Raj, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: "The way the UK government has handled its reduction in welfare spending has left parents unable to feed their children in the fifth-largest economy in the world.

"The UK government should ensure everyone's right to food rather than expecting charities to step in and fill the gap."

The report says the government should announce publicly that it accepts the right to food as a basic human right and should pay compensation to those who cannot get enough to eat.

It calls for changes to the benefits system, including the way Universal Credit is paid, and says the government and MPs should "develop a statutory requirement to measure and monitor food insecurity, with periodic reporting to parliament".

Figures released last month by The Trussell Trust, which operates the biggest network of food banks in the UK, showed it gave out 1.6m emergency food parcels last year, with more than half a million of which were for children.

The Goodwin Pantry in Hull was one of the food aid centres visited by Human Rights Watch researchers.

It opened two years ago and distributes surplus supermarket food to around 300 low income members who pay £3 for a basket of 10 or more items.

One smartly-dressed mother in her 20s, with a baby in a push chair, burst into tears as she explained how maternity leave and money owed to her husband had forced her to rely on food aid from the charity.

Asking to remain anonymous, she said she had a mortgage and a car and both her and her husband have jobs - in her words, "we have done everything right" - but the money coming into the household was not enough to live on.

The pantry's manager, Mike Scott, said it alarmed him that demand for the centre's food aid keeps growing, including from people in work.

"Every week we're seeing more people coming to join," he said.

"We hear stories of people who can't afford to feed themselves, can't afford to feed their children."

A government statement in response to the report did not address the human rights claims, but defended welfare policy.

"It's misleading to present these findings as representative of England as a whole," said a spokesperson.

" We're helping parents to move into work to give families the best opportunity to move out of poverty."

A key quote
" We're helping parents to move into work to give families the best opportunity to move out of poverty."

And ... what is the fate of those who CANNOT work ... through age / illness / disability ... caring ???
Ground zero ... Northwich , Cheshire ... a fairly quiet manor in the heart of a very rich county.

OPINION : Shocking increase in demand for donations is food for thought.

I can remember a few years ago when I read the first appeal from the Mid Cheshire Foodbank asking people for donations.

I was shocked. How, I wondered, could a major First World county such as ours have reached such a state that we were having to give food handouts.

What had gone wrong ? Was it the system or was it feckless individuals who couldn’t manage their budget ?

The answer came back loud and clear...it was the system and it just wasn’t working.

I would have hoped that in a caring and compassionate county, once it became obvious that food poverty was a problem, the government would have stepped in and done something about it.

But no, it didn’t and still hasn’t.

Instead, foodbanks have become normalised, we just accept them as a fact of life.

This is a plea appearing in the Northwich Guardian: The Mid Cheshire Foodbank has outlined its priority items for this week.

The foodbank would welcome donations of rice pudding and cereal, as well as tinned fish of which it has zero stock. All donations are gratefully received.

Donations can be dropped off at F Hayes Funeralcare in Barnton, Sainsbury’s Hartford, Abbeycroft Vets, Tesco, and St Helen Witton Church from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays.

Just take a moment to read and digest that. The foodbank has ‘priorities for the week’. That’s this week. It had priorities last week and the week before and the week before that.

And presumably, it will have priorities next week and the week after that and the week after that.

And things are getting worse.

Data released by the charity the Trussell Trust recently shows April 2018 to March 2019 to be the busiest year for foodbanks in the charity’s network since it opened.

During the past year, 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in the UK. More than half a million of these (577,618) went to children. This is an 18.8 per cent increase on the previous year.

The main reasons for people needing emergency food, according to the data are benefits consistently not covering the cost of living (33 per cent), and delays or changes to benefits being paid.

Universal Credit is not the only benefit payment people referred to foodbanks have experienced problems with, but issues with moving onto the new system are a key driver of increasing need.

Almost half (49 per cent) of foodbank referrals made due to a delay in benefits being paid in UK were linked to Universal Credit.

From this data, and other insights from food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network, the charity believes ending the five week for a first Universal Credit payment should be the Government’s first priority to help create a future without foodbanks.

The trust has listed the three main reasons that drive people into using foodbanks: Income not covering the cost of essentials (33.11 per cent); Benefit delays (20.34 per cent); Benefit changes (17.36 per cent).

If the picture is grim nationally, locally it’s even worse.

As Guardian chief reporter Josh Pennington wrote recently: The number of people in Northwich and Winsford relying on the foodbank to feed their families is soaring at a colossal rate.

The Mid Cheshire Foodbank, which provides food parcels to people in crisis across the area, has released its annual statistics, showing again that the amount of people turning to the foodbank is increasing year on year.

Between April 2018 and March 2019, 6,569 three-day emergency food parcels to Northwich and Winsford residents, of which 2,365 of the emergency parcels went to children.

This year’s figure shows a 19.2 per cent increase on last year, which is in line with the national rise across all foodbanks operated by the Trussell Trust.

However, a three-year increase at Mid Cheshire Foodbank of 113 per cent is much greater than the national three-year climb.

But in many ways, what else should we expect? Years and years of ideological austerity, the disgrace of Universal Credit, zero hours contracts and a government paralysed by the shambles that is Brexit has brought us to this point and frankly it is a disgrace. As a nation we should be hanging our heads in shame.

We all owe a debt of thanks to the Trussell Trust, but the sooner we have no need of its charity, the better.

By Guardian columnist The Fly in the Ointment
Headline over the top but ... what's in the article is definately not !

Perhaps CUK will now withdraw their latest cash raising gimmick which diverts vital supplies away from the food banks ??


So far we've raised £10,567,861.03 for UK charities.


CUK are not alone ... other charities are also signed up to this scheme ... they all should be ashamed of themselves !!!

Latest figure from Trussells ?

1.6 MILLION !!!


UK food bank users " On brink of starvation as demand soars and supplies run low. "

Food banks across Britain say they have seen soaring demand, with a record number of emergency handouts in the past year/

A UK food bank has warned that its desperate users are at risk of starvation as demand soars and donated supplies run "critically low".

The Edinburgh Food Project had issued an urgent appeal for donations, saying it only had enough food for this week, while hitting out at the benefits systems.

It warned that it may not be able to provide complete food parcels to its clients beyond this week - but it has since been "overwhelmed" by the response to the emergency appeal.

The charity - which has helped more than 11,000 in the last year, a rise of 19 per cent - said it isn't receiving enough donations of food to meet rising demand.

Amid the food bank's struggles, operations manager Bethany Biggar told the Independent: “Until we have a benefits systems that’s caring, compassionate and supportive, a minimum wage covering the essentials, and a workforce that is reliable and secure, we will continue to support those who need us.

"We will not allow people in Edinburgh to starve.”

The Trussell Trust food bank network said a record 1.6million parcels were given to UK residents between April 2018 and March this year, an increase of 19 per cent from the previous year.

It said food bank use in its network has soared by 73 per cent since 2014.

Ms Biggar said the Edinburgh Food Project, which has seven food bank centres in the Scottish capital, relies on donations from the public.

Without them, she said, it “simply would not be able to help people living in poverty”.

She said the food bank has helped 11,402 people over the last 12 months, a 19 per cent increase on the previous year.

Between January and April this year, there have been 4,530 food parcel requests – a rise of 47 per cent up on the same four-month period in 2018.

Food parcels contain three daily meals with three days of supplies.

Of those helped by the Edinburgh Food Project, which is part of the Trussell Trust network, 25 per cent have suffered changes to benefits and delays to benefit payments, the charity said.

These reasons were the most common ones for their dependence on food banks.

One case involved a mum-of-two whose housing benefit was cut because her elderly parent was living with her until she moved to a care home, the charity said.

More than half (53 per cent) said low income was the reason they turned to a food bank for help.

Other reasons included homelessness, debt, sickness and domestic violence.

After donors answered the call to Friday's urgent appeal, the Edinburgh Food Project wrote on Twitter : "We are overwhelmed with the response to our emergency appeal on Friday!

"Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and commented on our post. The more people who see it, the more help we receive!"

Food banks across the UK have reported a rise in demand this year.

The Trussell Trust said it gives out more food parcels in the North West of England than anywhere else in the country, and demand has gone up by 25 per cent this year alone, ITV News reported.

394 posts