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Food / Energy / Clothing Banks : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018 - Page 22 - 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.
349 posts
Todmorden food bank says a big thank you to generous valley.

A Todmorden food bank has highly praised people in the Calder Valley for their generosity throughout the year and especially during the winter.


The Todmorden Food Drop In, which operates from St Mary’s Parish Church on a Saturday from 9.30am to noon, helps those from the town and surrounding areas who are in need of food.

A volunteer from the centre said: “It’s been a busy year, as it has been every year.

“When we started three and a half years ago we never expected it to be like this but it seems to continue to grow.

“Number fluctuate, always get more people in winter as some people have to make a choice between heating and eating.

“We do not judge people. We say anyone who needs food is welcome to come along.”

Many different people use the service with people aged between 16 to 84, single people, couples and families with several children.

The centre says there has been an increase of children over the past year which could be down to the cafe that is provided at the food bank on a Saturday morning.

A few weeks ago the food bank saw a record breaking 100 people use the service.

Those who use the service receive food parcels which offer people a three day emergency food supply. Contents range from soups and vegetables to toiletries.

“It’s a very generous valley,” said a food bank volunteer.

“Lots of people want to give their time and we have had an enormous amount of donations. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in the valley.”

There are currently around 70 volunteers registered to help out at the food bank.
Use of Middlesbrough foodbank more than doubles in three years.


More than 5,000 people turned for help to Middlesbrough Foodbank during 2018 – a massive increase from 2,000 just three years ago.

The gloomy figure was revealed as members of Teesside’s business community rallied round to spread some Christmas cheer through charity Teesside Philanthropic Foundation - making £14,000 in donations to local food banks and the Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

A cheque for £1,000 for a fifth successive year was presented to the foodbank by Lisa Preston of Foundation patrons Hunters Estate Agents.

Foodbank project manager Soroush Sadeghzadeh said the donation was much appreciated in the face of growing poverty since 2015.

He said: “It’s amazing and heart-warming to receive support from the Philanthropic Foundation year after year, and fantastic to be supported by so many generous people who give us food and money because we completely rely on donations.

“I’ve been with Middlesbrough Foodbank for over three years, and the need for it has just got bigger and bigger every year."

He said a third of those they helped were children from families in need and people could find themselves in crisis for numerous reasons, from changes to benefit, to low income or relationship breakdown. The money will be used to buy non-perishable food.

Three more foodbanks - in Billingham, Hartlepool and Redcar - also received £1,000 each, with the Middlesbrough foodbank getting an extra £300 from the local branch of Barclays following a fundraiser.

And five Salvation Army centres in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Eston, Guisborough and Hartlepool have had £10,000 in cash, toys and vouchers to distribute to underprivileged families across Teesside split between them by the Foundation.
Dingwall residents donate more than a tonne of food in support of local food bank.

Two Highland MSPs have spoken of their gratitude for the public’s support since opening their doors to food bank donations.

The constituency office belonging to Kate Forbes and Maree Todd, situated prominently on Dingwall High Street, began accepting donations back in August to help meet growing demand for food parcels in the region.

The move came after research conducted by charity Blythswood Care, operators of the Highland food bank network, indicated that 40 children in Dingwall had received help from the food bank from January until June this year.

That represented a significant rise from the 26 children using it in 2017.

Since launching the scheme five months ago, the office has donated two big plastic bags to the charity every week, adding up to more than a tonne of food.

Ms Forbes said: “It has been hugely encouraging to see how quickly people responded to our call for supplies.

“Whilst it is incredibly sad that demand for food banks should be so high in this relatively wealthy country, it has been heart-warming to see food donations grow in the office.

“I must confess to being amazed at the speed of the response.

“I had thought it would take a while for donors to realise my office was a collection point and that we would slowly start to build up supplies.

“Instead, within a matter of days, the boxes were full and we had to ask Blythswood to come and collect the food and supplies.

“It shows Highland hospitality at its best.”

Residents have been donating an array of non-perishable items including packets of rice, oatcakes and jars of coffee to provide aid to struggling individuals across the town.

Mrs Todd said they were overwhelmed by the response.

She added: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of folk who have donated to our food bank collection point.

“In the run-up to Christmas, we have received an influx of donations and I am truly grateful to every single person for their help and compassion.”

Danny Muschate, Blythswood’s PR & Marketing manager said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response from the public by donating more than a tonne of food through the MSP’s office in Dingwall.

“It shows us that people do care about the needs of others in their own community.”
Ground zero ... Wales ... and a VERY interesting article :

( On reflection , one of the best articles published on this thread ! )

Why everything we assume about food banks is wrong.

We spent time with those forced to rely on food banks to find out more.

It's a dark and drizzly day in December.

It's not even two o'clock yet, but outside it feels like early evening.

Standing outside the Christchurch Centre in Newport, there's a warming light coming from inside.

Despite its impressive size, the building is mostly hidden from view if you're looking from the main road because of the even-larger hotel that stands in front of it.

The centre is home to a food bank, run in conjunction by the church and the Trussell Trust, where twice a week parcels of food are given out to those in need.

It's one of three run in the city, and part of a network of more than 35 across Wales.

It hasn't opened yet and apparently it's "a bit messy today" - they've had a massive 2.5 tonne haul that's come in from a collection at a local supermarket, meaning there are crates of tinned food stacked high against the walls.

In the time I'm at the centre - roughly around three hours - the entire collection has been moved into a storage warehouse by a team of just two volunteers.

Most people have never been to a food bank before - the closest they've probably come is seeing pictures of politicians inappropriately beaming at one.

It's perhaps understandable that they'll have a concept - even a stigma - about what to expect and the sort of people you might see in one.

After all, it's a last resort for those on the poverty line. But everyone needs to eat.

I watch people come and go, sitting down with a coffee and a cake, before leaving with a carrier bag full of food.

Nothing about them screams that they are in need of help. Yet here they are, sitting at a table waiting for a small parcel of food to see them through the next few days.

You wouldn't know that they were in need if they walked past you in the street. There is no "type" here.

In fact, the manager Jon Slocombe tells me that when someone recently turned up in a nice car, staff themselves assumed they were dropping off a donation.

He said: "My impression was they were coming to give because they had a nice, convertible car and kids.

"The parent was well-dressed and well-groomed and didn't look like they were in need of anything.

"But domestic violence had taken place, and suddenly she's in a desperate situation that doesn't have any money coming in."

There's plenty of chatter here. Everyone is friendly and making small talk while a child is running around politely asking people at other tables if he can eat their cakes.

A little laugh between his mother and those at the other tables and the youngster is happy with his little haul.

One woman tells me she moved to Newport in February on the promise of a waitressing job in Wales, and has had to use the food bank twice since she's been here.

"It turned out to be zero hour and they had no hours for me, so I'm currently on Universal Credit," said the mother-of-two.

"They've been brilliant, very supportive and they've been helping me find a job. But they can't pay for everything - there are some months when my car breaks down and we've got no food."

She says that's she sometimes brings her children to the food bank and the volunteers are great with them.

"They won't be happy that I've come here on my own," she said. "They love it because they can have some cake and have someone else to talk to."

She says when her children, who are five and eight years old, are at school it's less of a strain because they have meals there, but half term was difficult.

"I completely ran out of everything because I forgot to budget for half term," she said.

"I came here and they can give me toilet roll and they can give me washing up liquid and washing powder and stuff like that. It was brilliant.

"I try to only come if I really need it. But I'll probably come back again, until I find a job."

She asks me not to include her name but tells me her experience is that attitudes are changing towards food banks because of the growing number of people for whom they've become a necessity.

"I think so many people have to use [a food bank] that there isn't a stigma to it. I think a lot of people want to help out. There's a community spirit," she said.

How the food bank works

Getting a food parcel isn't simply a case of rocking up to the centre and asking for food.

The team at the Christchurch centre give out vouchers to various agencies, such as housing associations or family groups, as well as to those who are in need.

One in five people now live below the poverty line in the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. But everything still needs to be signed off, going through the proper channels, before food is given out.

Sometimes, the agents (those working for the agencies) will come in to collect the parcels for their clients, but they still need to give in the vouchers.

Clients or agents will come in, sit at a table for a cake, a coffee and a chat (if they want) while their parcel is being prepped and then leave.

However, Jon said that they do occasionally get "walk-ins" - people who've just hit hard times and don't really know the system.

But the volunteers don't make a habit of giving out to people who just walk in, they try to signpost them instead.

Widespread misconceptions

Last month the rapper Professor Green shared a video of his visit to his local food bank in Lewisham, where he spoke of the misconceptions about the people who use them.

He said: "Their stories were incredibly powerful and really drove home the fact there are so many misconceptions around food bank usage. The work that @trusselltrust does is vital, but no one should have to rely on these types of services, regardless of their circumstances."

His words ring true for the volunteers and agents I spoke to in Newport.

One of the agents, Ian Brown, who works for Newport City Homes and was at the food bank collecting a parcel for a client, said people wrongly assume that it's for the homeless or those right on the poverty line, but he's increasingly seeing more people with jobs here.

And Rosie Ardron, who's a member of the church and volunteer at the centre, recalled many tragic situations she's experienced in the five years she's worked though.

The 70-year-old said: "Most people who come don't really want to and they're reluctant to come.

"They feel they shouldn't have to come. Of course it could happen to any of us. A run of things happen together.

"Some things are really very distressing.

"I remember an elderly lady, who because of the bedroom tax and her husband had just died, she have to move out because she couldn't afford to pay the bedroom tax but it was their family home.

"It was tragic."

Rosie also talked about a man who was between jobs, fell ill and lost everything.

She said: "A gentleman that came, interviewed for a new job, resigned from his old job but between finishing one and signing up for another he was diagnosed with cancer, had to go into hospital.

"Then he lost the second job and had nothing.

"When he walked in, you'd never have dreamt he'd need it. But it's circumstances.

"People say 'Oh but they come in big cars' and you think 'yes but they maybe had that before whatever happened, happened'.

"It's not our business. Last week, things might've been great."

Something Jon and the team try to do at the centre, is make sure people don't feel uncomfortable.

"The whole thing about this is dignity," said Jon. "They'll walk out of here with Asda, Tesco or Lidl bags - so it's not like 'I've just scrounged off the food bank'."

"We try to offer dignity throughout - we won't give out of date food, or damaged food [in the parcels].

"If it is out of date, we do say this is slightly out of date, please help yourself."

Changing demographic

Jon says they're now seeing more people through the doors who have never been in poverty before, like those in private rentals or who are in-between jobs.

"For them to come into a food bank without any agencies is a big thing," he said.

"They must actually need it to come in and ask for help - they don't know the system because they've never been in poverty.

"Food banks are becoming more known, so more and more people are becoming generous to us, realising it's not just homeless or those without a house.

"There's a stigma and I guess an untruth - but it's people who are in need."

He also said food bank usage was increasing.

"From April to September this year Newport Food Bank provided 1,969 emergency food parcels compared to 1,439 in the same period last year," he said. "That's a 36.8% increase.

"It's a big hike. I'm not saying it is, but it could be because of Universal Credit.

"Christmas is a busier time for us. I think sometimes parents are pressured by kids requirements and the kids wanting what everyone else has got in school.

"So maybe some decisions are made that puts them into tight financial situations - universal credit and bedroom tax beforehand.

"Zero hours... that was another area that people were hitting the poverty line."

The Christchurch Centre was fully stocked for Christmas, but Jon explains that people don't often give as much in January or February - they're obviously the months when everyone feels the pinch.

If you'd like to help the centre's food bank, you can donate to the JustGiving page and they'll use the money to top up the stock as and when it's needed.

If you'd like to find a food bank local to you visit the Trussell Trust website.
Ground zero ... Lowestoft ... next door to my abode during the majority of my caring days ... and it was pretty grim even then.

Fishing port employing thousands ... fishing industry now in the past ... virtually nothing to replace it over 20+ years.

Shades of my present abode ... Worksop ... and the loss of the coal mining industry.

Hundreds of people " At risk of going hungry " referred to Foodbank.

Thousands of meals were donated to help people in need over the festive season.


Thanks to customer donations at Tesco stores in Lowestoft and Saxmundham, a total of 3,628 meals were donated to Lowestoft Foodbank to help people across north Suffolk.

Lowestoft Foodbank, which provides three days worth of emergency food to local people in crisis, had called for the support of the community in the lead up to Christmas as they took part in the annual food collection.

On Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30, the Tesco superstores in Leisure Way, north Lowestoft and Church Street, Saxmundham took part in the collection, as shoppers were encouraged to donate long life foods to help The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network.

Since the Lowestoft Foodbank opened in February 2018, it has provided 2,400 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis – with 920 of these going to children.

The food that was donated to Lowestoft Foodbank is given in emergency food parcels to people who are referred because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.

Last month’s collection saw Foodbank volunteers greet customers in store with a list of items most needed, with supermarket shoppers encouraged to pick up items to donate at the end of their shop.

Lowestoft Foodbank manager, Ben Parish, said: “During the lead up to this Christmas our foodbank volunteers met hundreds of local people who were referred because they were at risk of going hungry.

“Thank you so much to everyone who donated during the food collection.

“We depend on the support of people in Lowestoft, Saxmundham and the surrounding area to make sure there is enough emergency food for people referred to us, so we’re very grateful for the way the community pulled together in the lead up to this Christmas.

“Because of your support, in the last few weeks the foodbank was able to help hundreds of local people and prevent them from facing hunger.

“We would also like to say a huge thanks to the Tesco stores and staff who supported the event and local company Kingsley Healthcare for providing us with some amazing volunteers.”
Perhaps the weirdest ( Part ) article posted under this thread ?

Angel of Death serial killer nurse organises food bank donations from jail,

Glasgow-born Colin Norris was branded a “thoroughly evil and dangerous man” after he gave four elderly patients lethal insulin jabs.

A nurse branded the Angel of Death after giving four elderly patients lethal insulin jabs is arranging foodbank donations from inside one of Britain’s most notorious jails.

Glasgow-born Colin Norris – who now goes under the name Colin Campbell – has convinced his fellow inmates on Frankland Prison’s A wing to give handouts.

But since December 2017, he has donated around 350kg of non-perishable goods – amounting to 450 meals for needy families.

Donations include juice boxes bought from the prison tuck shop, tinned fruits and vegetables.

Kelly Smith, food supply manager at Durham Foodbank, said the organisation – who have a network of 30 foodbanks across County Durham – have not had direct contact with Norris.

She said: “He wrote to us in 2017 but we were advised to communicate through the warden.

“We sent him out the normal letter, signage and posters to help him get the message out across the wing of his prison.

“We’ve had four donations from him. We’ve never dealt with a prison before – it’s not the sort of place you would have expected to get donations.

“It’s the places you least expect where you get donations. It’s often those who have had experience of hardships.”
Aldi donates unsold food to east of England foodbanks.

Supermarket chain Aldi spread festive cheer in the east of England, donating 53,856 meals to 34 charities on Christmas Eve.

Aldi, which has stores across the east of England, including Luton, paired over 500 stores across the UK with local charities and foodbanks, donating unsold fresh food after stores closed on December 24.

About 798,744 meals were donated across the country, including 53,856 from stores in the East region, benefitting more than 500 UK charities.

Aldi spokesman Fritz Walleczek said: “By donating fresh food such as bread, fruit and vegetables and meat, we’ve been able to support charities in providing warm and healthy festive meals this Christmas season.

“The feedback has been overwhelming and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to go above and beyond with our donations this year, and reach so many people in and across the east of England.”

About 798,744 meals were donated across the country,
Thieves steal cash and equipment from Oldham Foodbank.

Thieves have "ransacked" a food bank in Greater Manchester, stealing equipment, cash and food for people in need.

Three tablet devices and £200 were taken over the weekend from Oldham Foodbank in the Three Crowns Centre.

The food bank said it is assessing the damage after the intruders "ransacked the office", and appealed for tinned food to replace stolen items.

Manager Lisa Leunig said without the tablets, she can not help people "in desperate need" get fuel to cook.

The food bank, which is part of a nationwide network supported by the Trussell Trust, said a PC tower containing its main hard drive was also taken but added that all the stolen devices were password protected.

Skip Twitter post by @OldhamFoodbank

We have had break in at the foodbank!!! 3 tablets all password protected , one hard drive again password protected , cash and food too . Please retweet and share . Any donations to cover the cost to replace items would be gratefully received. pic.twitter.com/fEqMzfdNnH
— Oldham Foodbank 🦉 (@OldhamFoodbank) January 7, 2019

The tablets were used to refer people in crisis to the fuel bank for emergency payments and for a nationwide survey into food banks run by Edinburgh University.

Ms Leunig said "99% of the people that come in are in desperate need" and "until we get the new tablets, we won't be able to help them with fuel - so the food we're giving them, they may not be able to cook".

"The Oldham police station is right behind us - that's how hard-faced these people are. They don't care about anybody else but themselves, which is really sad", she said.

The food bank said filing cabinets were damaged and about £200 donated over the Christmas period was stolen.

Greater Manchester Police said it was investigating after being called at 10:15 GMT on Monday to the building in Manchester Street following reports of a burglary, which is thought to have happened sometime after midday on Saturday.

It appealed for donations as well as "tinned fish, rice pudding, tinned tomatoes and UHT milk" and tweeted: "We will not let it beat us, open tomorrow with smiles".

It tweeted that it was "overwhelmed with the support, wishes and offers of help" and would re-open on Tuesday as normal, saying: "We will not let an individual or individuals stop us from helping those in crisis and need."

Ms Leunig said she had now bought a CCTV system and would be installing alarms.
More on the Oldham foodbank burglary :
Oldham food bank launches fundraiser after burglary.

Cash donations, iPads and food stolen in raid at Trussell Trust-run premises.


A fundraiser has been launched by Oldham food bank after a burglary in which items including cash donations, food and electronics used by volunteers were stolen.

Tins of chocolates similar to those given out to vulnerable families in Greater Manchester over the Christmas period, jars of coffee, a password-protected hard drive containing clients’ data, iPads and £200 in cash donations were taken.

A GoFundMe page has since been set up by one of the food bank’s volunteers to raise money to replace the stolen goods. In seven hours, over £1,400 has been raised through online donations – including from people as far away as Switzerland.

David Jones, the co-manager of the Trussell Trust-run food bank, said: “I feel aggrieved that somebody targeted a charity, especially one that is part of the community. This is an Oldham charity – all the volunteers are from Oldham, doing this for Oldham people.”

Two iPads that were stolen had been used to register people in need of fuel vouchers. Volunteers discovered the break-in, which happened over the weekend, on Monday. A window panel was taken out and a filing cabinet was destroyed in the raid, in which paperwork was thrown across the floor of the food bank’s office.

Jones said: “It’s obviously not opportunistic. If somebody has a sense of injustice with us, this is not the way to demonstrate their feelings – there are other ways to do that.”

All of the charity’s computers, including those that can be accessed by clients to sign up to universal credit, were left untouched. Another two iPads that were taken were being used to conduct a survey with the University of Edinburgh about the impact of food banks.

Despite volunteers having to clear up after the raid, the food bank, which is closed between Saturday and Monday, opened as usual on Tuesday.

On a normal day, volunteers give out food parcels, toiletries and clothing to between 10 and 20 clients. The Friday before Christmas, however, they gave out 74 food vouchers that can cater for whole families.

Lisa Leunig, who co-manages the food bank, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve been here for seven years. When I spoke to our area manager they said if you want to close tomorrow it’s understandable. But we said they aren’t going to break us, they aren’t going to stop us.”

Last August, £2,500 worth of sanitary items were stolen from a food bank in Salford, Greater Manchester.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester police said: “Police were called shortly before 10.15am Monday 7 January to a report of a burglary at a premises on Manchester Street, Oldham.

“An unknown offender entered the premises before stealing a quantity of cash. It is believed the burglary happened sometime between midday on Saturday 5 January and 9.50am on Monday 7 January. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Oldham, which is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, was one of the initial pilot areas for the rollout of universal credit.

Jones said: “Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of people we are supporting. It’s not just unemployed universal credit claimants – we’re seeing a lot more people who are in work.”

A spokeswoman for Trussell Trust said that while the trust did see break-ins at its food banks from time to time, this was not a regular occurrence.

She said: “Our area manager for the north-west is working closely with the food bank to support them as they respond to the break-in, and has reported that the level of support they’ve seen following the break-in has been huge. People across the community have really come together to help.

“If people want to support the food bank we’d encourage them to donate financially if they can.”
Ground zero ... Worksop ( NoWorksop as the natives call it ) ... MY manor :

Bassetlaw foodbank thanks generous community after busy year.

Volunteers at a Bassetlaw foodbank have thanked the community for their generosity after a record year.

The foodbank, which operates from Lowtown Street in Worksop, gave out 1284 food parcels to desperate people last year, and expect that number to rise in 2019.

The foodbank, which has branches in Worksop and Retford, has seen a 30 per cent increase in the amount of food parcels being handed out in 2018, compared to 2017.

Like many foodbanks, secretary Morag Turner has stated that the introduction of Universal Credit is the main reason why the Bassetlaw branch has seen a sharp rise of users over the last year.

She said: “The number [of users] keeps rising, but the community has been fantastic.

“We want to thank the whole of Bassetlaw, we had to go and empty the donation boxes in supermarkets everyday in the run up to Christmas.”

( No real difference to what the community did during the Miners Strike ... provide for the needy !!! )

Although the foobank received plenty of generous donations over the festive period, they still need supplies to keep them running all through the year.

One of the biggest donations came from the travelling community, who donated three trolleys, packed with food just before Christmas.

Morag said one of the biggest worries at the foodbank is that they will run out of food to give out.

She added: “We’re safe for now, but we do worry about not having enough food to make up parcels.

“We are concerned about the number of users increasing as Universal Credit rolls out to families.

“With the wait time to receive Universal Credit, people need to borrow money, and they end up in debt, then when they receive their benefits , the money is used to pay the debt off, so it’s a double whammy.

She added that it is not just families on benefits that need the help of a foodbank.

“Zero hours contracts don’t help, lots of people we see are working, but have had their hours cut, or been made redundant.”

Morag added that when the foodbank first started in 2013, the staff and volunteers never expected to still be here six years later.

She said: “We though we would be here temporarily, but the number of users has just increased every year.”

Although the foodbank have enough stock for now, it does not last long, and donations die down after Easter, meaning the foodbank struggles in Autumn.

It is not just Bassetlaw that sees people struggle to make ends meet.

Figures released by The Trussell Trust, Britain’s biggest foodbank, reveal there was a 49 per cent surge in demand at its food banks last December compared to the rest of the year.

Christmas and winter time is when the number of food parcels handed out to struggling families reaches its peak, with volunteers nationally expecting to dish out 1.5 million meals to families.

The Trussell Trust has called for urgent changes to universal credit after revealing that it gave out more than 650,000 food parcels in six months last year– a year-on-year increase of 13 percent.

Emma Revie, Trussell’s chief executive said: “The only way to stop even more people being forced to food banks this winter will be to pause all new claims to universal credit, until funding is in place to reduce the five-week wait.

The biggest single reason for food bank referrals between April and September 2018 was the failure of benefit payments to cover essentials, while benefit changes accounted for 17 per cent of referrals.

Morag added that here in Bassetlaw, the volunteers have heard some ‘desperate’ cases over the festive period.

She added: “It wouldn’t surprise me if parents were going without for their children.

“We have seen cases where people starve themselves to be able to feed their pets.”

If you wish to donate to the foodbank, they are in need of whole milk, sugar, soap, tinned fruit and vegetables, jam, cereals and squash

Zero hour contracts ... and no work available ?

5 of my immediate neighbours know that only too well ... 4 have had no work since mid November !
349 posts