[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Food / Energy / Clothing Banks : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018 - Page 29 - 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.
348 posts
Daily Mirror ... part of their " Road to Wigan Pier " series :


Image


Since Universal Credit came in the food bank has been packed : My Wigan Pier Story.

As part of our Road to Wigan Pier project, eight decades after the publication of George Orwell's essay, Coventry Food Bank project manager Hugh McNeill, explains how visitor numbers have soared since the introduction of Universal Credit.



When his restaurant closed in December 2013, Hugh McNeill turned to Coventry Food Bank to feed his family. Unable to get paid work, he started to volunteer there before becoming project manager in 2014. He tells Maryam Qaiser how the switch to Universal Credit has left people needing the service more than ever.

Since the introduction of Universal Credit, we have seen a significant rise in people coming to Coventry Food Bank - and these people have been coming back a number of times.

Universal Credit is a benefit which is applied for online and if you are not computer literate, it can cause real problems. Some people haven't applied because they simply don't know how to operate a computer.

Universal Credit has had a real negative impact for many people, it is quite a complex process. When you apply for it because you lose all your benefits for five weeks, so the transition to Universal Credit can cause a lot of undue hardship on families.

We work with around 358 agencies who refer people to us, including single parents, people with mental health issues, disabilities and hard-working families, who are in jobs but still struggling and homeless people.

In 2016/17 we saw 15,500 people use the food banks in Coventry, but there was a steep rise in 2018/19 to 22,100, following the role out of Universal Credit.

Some people we see are really hard-working but they still rely on help from food banks because they just can't afford to put food on the table. They feel like they are carrying such a burden.

n the past six months alone, we have seen 12,000 people coming through our doors – that is quite a steep rise.

Over the years Coventry has seen a decline in the number of jobs available locally, particularly since Brexit and the housing market for rent has risen sharply. The cost of living has gone up, while peoples earnings have stagnated.
Now the music industry joins The Cause :


Squeeze autumn UK tour will benefit the Trussell Trust food bank network.



Squeeze announce that ‘The Difford And Tilbrook Songbook Tour’ will aim to raise food, funds and awareness for the Trussell Trust network of food banks.

The 27-date tour will see the South London legends play their extensive list of hits as a band as well as rare gems from their back catalogue and solo careers. They will be appearing with Heaven 17 at the Brighton Centre on Saturday 26th October.

Speaking about the tour Glenn Tilbrook says “‘I am over the moon to be touring with Squeeze and raising donations for the Trussell Trust. We’ve had something of a renaissance in the last few years, and look forward to this continuing.

” Commenting on his solo shows, as well as a run of dates with Wilko Johnson, which raised food and funds for the Trussell Trust, Glenn continues “I’ve been so humbled and moved by the generosity and compassion of the people coming to the gigs and donating. It’s disgraceful that in 2019 people can’t afford to put even the most basic food on the table. So far, more than 1.5 tonnes of food has been raised for those that need it, and I can’t wait to see how much we can achieve when Squeeze tour later in the year.”

At all venues there will be multiple food drop points and collection boxes, where audiences can donate non-perishable food or money. Food donated at the venues will be collected and distributed to the nearest Trussell Trust food bank. Food banks provide a minimum of three-days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods that have been donated by the local community.

A list of items in a typical food parcel are: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes/pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea/coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk and fruit juice. If possible audience members are asked to check with local food banks to see what supplies are currently needed.
Food bank use among children over school holidays surges by 20% in a year, figures show.

" I want to go back to work. I’m not one of those mums who wants to stay at home. I want to work," says single mother at food bank in Epsom, who is unable to earn a living due to lack of free childcare places.



( Interlocking thread : Childcare costs : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... re%20costs )

Food bank use among children during the school holidays has surged by a fifth in one year, according to new data which has fuelled concern around the impact of universal credit and other welfare reforms on youngsters.

Figures published by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank provider, show 87,496 food parcels went to children during the summer holidays last year – a 20 per cent increase on the same period in 2017.

More than a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network go to children, but the charity said there was extra financial pressure during the holiday period for families entitled to free school meals during term time – with this summer set to be the network’s busiest to date.

Delays and gaps in benefits are the most common reasons for people having to turn to food banks, with the five week wait for a first universal credit payment being a key driver of need, the charity said.


Alice, a single mother who is currently relying on food bank supplies, told The Independent that she and her two-year-old daughter were currently surviving on £20.70 a week because she had five weeks to wait for her first universal credit payment.

Speaking at a food bank in Epsom, she said: “Universal credit has been bad from the beginning. I had to sign up three times online before it got accepted. And then you have to go for a meeting. I went to the job centre to do it. I had to walk for an hour to get there.

“Now it’s left me with just £20.70 to live on. I just do what I can. Sometimes I have to go to my mum. I’ve been [to this food bank] quite a few times. I wouldn’t know what to do without it.”

Another single mother, Santana, said she was increasingly frustrated because, due to a lack of affordable childcare for her two-year-old, she had been unable to get back into work.

The 31-year-old has been living in temporary accommodation in Epsom since July 2017 after her landlord downgraded to a smaller property and she was unable to find an affordable alternative – leaving her and her daughter “stuck”.

The mother, who is on universal credit, said her daughter was starting at the local nursery in September but that she was only able to send her there for three hours a day.

“I’ve got universal credit moaning at me telling me to get a job. When I told my advisor my daughter could only do three hours a day in the afternoon, he said couldn’t you have just put her in for full days. But when I put her name down the full day slots had already gone,” she said.

“I want to go back to work. I’m not one of those mums who wants to stay at home. I was working up until three days before she was born, in a little cafe, because I didn’t see the point in sitting around waiting for the baby to come out. I want to work.

“It’s just really awkward because guarantee, wherever I work, it’s going to be walking time there and back because I don’t drive.”

The latest figures come against a backdrop of soaring food bank use in UK, with the number of emergency parcels delivered increasing by 19 per cent in the past year.

The Trussell Trust’s chief executive Emma Revie said: “No charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics. While it’s great to see schemes in place to tackle holiday hunger, food banks and other emergency food provision cannot, and must not, be a long term solution to poverty.”


Shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood said it was “simply wrong” that families should have to rely on food banks to feed their children.

“The high level of housing costs, the spread of low paid, insecure work and deep cuts to social security have left families struggling to meet basic household bills,” she added.

“The government cannot simply abdicate responsibility for families being pushed into poverty and children going hungry in the summer.”


A government spokesperson said: “Our priority is to support people to improve their lives through work while helping low income families with the cost of living.

“That’s why we have raised the personal allowance to take 1.74 million of the lowest paid out of income tax altogether, frozen fuel duty for the ninth consecutive year, increased the National Living Wage and confirmed that the benefit freeze will end next year.

“Meanwhile, we’ve seen record high employment and wages continuing to outstrip inflation so people have more money in their pocket.”
Britain’s biggest food bank charity urges government action as it predicts " Busiest summer ever. "

A major foodbank charity has urged ministers to do more to tackle poverty in Britain as it predicted its “ Busiest summer ” yet in foodbank handouts.



The Trussell Trust, which claims to run around two-thirds of the UK's foodbanks, said it expected the number of parcels given to children over the school holiday period to surpass last year’s record.

New figures show 87,496 packages went to children in the UK during the summer months in 2018 – a 20% increase on the same period in 2017.

Adults meanwhile received 151,700 parcels – an 18% hike on the previous year.

The charity says over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in its network of around 1,200 go to children, with higher demand coming in the absence of free school meals.

It said ministers must ensure parents in work were being paid the "real Living Wage" and that benefits kept up with rising prices, in a bid to stem the increase in foodbank use.

The charity's chief executive, Emma Revie, said: "Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays."

"But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.

"While it’s great to see schemes in place to tackle holiday hunger, food banks and other emergency food provision cannot, and must not, be a long term solution to poverty.

"Ultimately, we should all be protected from needing a food bank’s help, no matter the time of the year.

“If we are to end hunger in the UK, we need to make sure everyone is anchored from being swept into poverty.

"The Government needs to ensure benefit payments reflect the true cost of living and work is secure, paying the real Living Wage.

"Every family should have enough money coming in for a decent standard of living. No child should face going hungry in the UK.”

Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, volunteers provided 1,583,668 emergency supplies to those in crisis – a 19% jump on the year before.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Margaret Greenwood, said: “It is simply wrong that families should have to rely on food banks to feed their children at any time.

“The extra costs families face during school holidays can often push them into severe hardship.

“The high level of housing costs, the spread of low paid, insecure work and deep cuts to social security have left families struggling to meet basic household bills.

“The Government cannot simply abdicate responsibility for families being pushed into poverty and children going hungry in the summer.

“Labour will stop the rollout of Universal Credit and make tackling child poverty a key priority for Government once again.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Our priority is to support people to improve their lives through work while helping low income families with the cost of living.

"That’s why we have raised the personal allowance to take 1.74 million of the lowest paid out of income tax altogether, frozen fuel duty for the ninth consecutive year, increased the National Living Wage and confirmed that the benefit freeze will end next year.

“Meanwhile, we’ve seen record high employment and wages continuing to outstrip inflation so people have more money in their pocket.”
Ground zero ... Redcar , Teeside ... the aftermath following the closure of the major employer , the local steelworks :


Teachers to open school during holidays as food banks fear worst ever summer for " Holiday hunger. "

Green Gates Primary School is running a pilot summer club with the help of local charities to keep pupils full and safe.



Teachers from a primary school will be coming in over the summer holidays in a bid to keep children safe and fed.

Green Gates Primary School in Redcar will be open for two weeks of the summer break offering a haven for youngsters.

Sessions are completely free of charge to all pupils and will see children catching up with their friends with a nutritious lunch and activities thrown in.

The idea has been drawn up by Green Gates headteacher Katie Lowe and will help curb the concern of 'holiday hunger' which has been a growing issue in recent years.

"School holidays can be a hard time for parents - the cost of childcare is out of reach for lots of parents and holidays are really expensive especially at this time of year," said Mrs Lowe, who took over as head a year ago.

"Adding that to the cost of providing meals and snacks throughout the day - when the children normally get this at school - can be hard."

It comes as the Trussell Trust network of food banks warns that this summer is likely to be its busiest yet.


Youngsters at Green Gates will be served up a healthy lunch and can take part in a range of activities, from arts and crafts and drama to active fun with yoga.

The project was originally planned to last a week, offering 30 places to pupils with two staff, but after securing a £1,000 grant from the Greggs Foundation and a £450 donation from the Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, the school has room for more than 80 children.

"We had an amazing response of interest from parents so I decided to increase it to two weeks," said Mrs Lowe, who was once a Greens Gate primary school pupil herself.

"I made the decision that I would not turn any children away so had to ask for more staff volunteers to help out.

"We as a community feel there's not much to do in the area and there is a obvious concern for anti-social behaviour - many parents worry about their children being safe and I want to take these worries away."

"My aim is to do this every year and who knows, next year, I might be able to open up for the whole summer… If I get the help of the community of Redcar."

Image

Figures show that one in eight primary school children struggle during the holidays due to families not having resources to feed them sufficiently.

The Trussell Trust is urging the public to donate to their local food bank, as new figures show 87,496 food parcels went to children in the UK during the summer holidays in 2018, a 20% increase on the same period in 2017.

Over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network go to children, but there is extra financial pressure during the holiday period for families who are entitled to free school meals during term time.

While donations are vital for helping families during the next six weeks, the charity has stressed food banks are not a long-term solution, and more must be done to ensure people have enough money for essentials like food.

The Trussell Trust believes tackling delays and gaps in benefits, which affect families’ ability to afford essentials, should be treated as a priority by the Government. The most immediate relief for thousands of people would be to end the five week wait for a first Universal Credit payment, a key driver of need at food banks in the charity’s network.
Fife foodbanks appeal for summer holiday help.

Two north east Fife foodbanks have appealed for donations to help support local families over the school holidays.



It follows a warning from the Trussell Trust that foodbanks across the UK are fearing their busiest summer ever, as use continues to rise.

It noted a 20 per cent increase in emergency food parcels for children in summer 2018, compared to the year before, and warned another rise is expected.

Both Cupar and Tay Bridgehead foodbanks noted a rise in use over previous school holidays.

Cupar Foodbank gave out 547.45 kilos in food more than it took in donations back in April, which centre manager Joe Preece said he believes was a result of the Easter break.

“We saw a 25 per cent rise from the previous April,” he added. “April was absolutely shocking. I noticed a vast difference.”

However, Mr Preece did say he felt Fife Council’s Cafe Inc scheme, which is providing free lunches in Fife during the holidays, has helped keep usage levels around the same as last summer.

Meanwhile, Tay Bridgehead is now supporting nine extra families over the school holidays. It is currently helping around 40 people every week, providing around 12-14 food parcels and 40 bags of food.

Muriel McNaughton, foodbank manager, said: “We always have extra families, especially those with children who get free school meals.

“We’re up on last year. We never had 19 parcels going out per week – we have this year. Donations are always welcome, especially over the summer.”

Cupar Foodbank is appealing for tinned foods, but not soup or beans.

Donations for Cupar Foodbank can be dropped off at the Tesco store on South Road.

Collection points for the Tay Bridgehead Foodbank are Tayport Library, Manna in Newport, and the Spar in Wormit.
Food banks scramble to stop a million children going hungry over holidays.

More families turn to food parcels to make up for loss of free school meals, extra childcare costs and benefit payment delays.



Church and community food banks are preparing for their busiest summer yet, providing meals for children during the school holidays as an increasing number of families struggle with delays in benefit payments.

The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food banks, many based in churches, said demand over the next few weeks could exceed last year’s record of 87,496 food parcels during the summer holidays. The 2018 figure was a 20% increase on the same period the previous year.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the trust, said: “Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays.”

The biggest increases between 2017 and 2018 were seen in the north-east and London, where the number of food parcels distributed in the summer holidays rose by 26.3% and 25.8% respectively. A parliamentary report two years ago estimated that the loss of free school meals over the school holidays added £30 to £40 per week to household outgoings, and that more than 1 million children were at risk of going hungry.


The problem has been made worse by the erosion of benefits year on year, the five-week delay before people claiming universal credit get their first payment, and the difficulties of finding money for extra childcare costs, according to Paul Morrison, policy adviser at the Methodist church. “Holidays should be a time for families to relax and enjoy time together,” he said. “But for the families of over 1 million children, the long summer holiday means a struggle to afford the basics, and increased isolation.

“I regularly meet parents for whom the long school holiday means they must skip meals to ensure their children have enough. It’s not right that this can happen in Britain today.”

Darlington Methodist Circuit, which has run a school holiday project, Make Lunch, for four years, has seen rising numbers. It supports up to 120 children and their families over the school holidays. “We’re making a difference to children who would miss meals, to parents who might not get food as they prioritise the kids, and to families who need to make difficult financial decisions in the holidays,” said Morvyn Sanderson, children and young people’s worker.

At the South London Mission, director Janet Corlett said: “Destitution is creeping up on people. We’ve got kids with anxiety and mental health issues because their lives are insecure, and in the summer the pressures increase.”
Food rejected by supermarkets to be used to help end UK hunger.

UK farms are throwing away 7% of their annual harvest worth £1.2 billion every year because it does not meet retailers quality standards.


Food that is being rejected by supermarkets is set to be redistributed to charities and small businesses in an effort by farmers and producers to reduce food wastage and help solve UK hunger and climate change.

The Food Surplus Network comes in light of a new study by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which found that farms in the UK are throwing away seven percent of their annual harvest worth £1.2 billion every year because it does not meet retailers quality standards.

The network will connect farmers with new markets that can use surplus food; including a directory of organisations redistributing surplus food to charities, businesses which use surplus food to make new products and business-to-business trading platforms.

The need for repurposed food is greater than ever as food banks believe that this summer will see the highest demand yet, as the Trussell Trust recorded a 20 percent increase in emergency food parcels for children in the UK during summer 2018.

Fluctuations in demand and issues during storage or packing also contributed to creating 3.6 million tonnes of waste, which is more than 10 times the amount thrown away by retailers.

Over half of the waste created in primary production was repurposed to feed livestock or distributed to charities. The rest of the waste was ploughed back into fields, composted or used to create energy.

Peter Maddox, director of WRAP, said that the study showed that farmers and producers could vastly reduce waste and repurpose it to help local communities and small businesses.

“There is huge potential to reduce the amount of surplus and waste by promoting best practice, and that’s where our work is now focussed.

“We want to increase redistribution of surplus food as has happened across the retail sector, and I am pleased this will now be much easier through the Food Surplus Network,” he said.

Mark Varney, director of food and network development at FareShare, one of the organisations helping to distribute surplus food to frontline charities, added that they hope the report will shine a light on the issue.

“Assuming two-thirds of this [the food waste] could have been eaten, that’s enough to create over four and a half billion meals for UK citizens each year – a staggering figure.

“By working in close collaboration with farmers and growers, and helping them access up to £50k towards the cost of redistributing edible surplus to people via the FareShare Surplus with Purpose fund, we can unlock more of this good food and get it onto the plates of vulnerable people,” Varney added.


As well as tackling UK poverty and hunger, the redistribution scheme hopes to play a part in minimising climate change.

“Food waste is a major source of carbon emissions,” explained Peter Andrews, the head of sustainability at the British Retail Consortium.

“The challenges involved in tackling food waste in farming are vast, but if we are to be serious about these environmental and social challenges of food production and consumption then we can leave no stone unturned.”

Meka Beresford is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter.
Ground zero ... Leeds , West YorkieLand :

Plea for Leeds food bank donations as school holidays spark huge increase in demand.

Universal Credit and the summer holidays have both had a major impact of food banks.



Food banks across Leeds are urging people to donate what they can this summer after seeing a massive 20% increase in requests for meals.

Figures for 2018/19 show that people accessed food banks across the city 33,670 times in total - a huge rise on the 27,902 visits in the 12 months beforehand.

The rollout of Universal Credit has been highlighted as the main factor for the increase in demand, which can see claimants left without any payments at all for five weeks after applying.

However, the school holidays will only heighten the problem, with the six-week break often being a real struggle for tens of thousands of families living on the poverty line in Leeds.

Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN) statistics are particularly worrying at the Leeds South and East food bank, where there has been a 26% increase in the number of visitors in the period from October 2018 to the end of March 2019. Almost 7,000 visits were registered here across the six-month period.


Dave Paterson, the chairman of Leeds Food Aid Network, said: "Universal Credit is having a clear impact on vulnerable people, the waiting period combined with the substantial amounts of finance that can be taken off peoples overall payment are leading adults and children to food banks and with the added pressure of the summer holidays the situation is concerning."

Businesses in Leeds are being asked to play their part by joining the Big Change project - a city-wide initiative to connect local businesses with charities to provide better help and support for vulnerable people living on the streets.


Some of the most important items needed include the likes of pasta, rice and tinned vegetables - but soap, shower gel and toothpaste are also required.

One initiative that aims to feed children across the city throughout the summer holidays is the Holiday Hunger campaign, initially launched by Leeds Community Foundation in 2018.

It's estimated that up to 30,000 youngsters will benefit from the scheme, which aims to ensure that vulnerable children in Leeds have access to food, fun activities and crucial services outside school terms.
Brazilian TV interviewed UK food bank staff " Because they felt sorry for them. "

Oldham was a test-bed for Universal Credit where the hated benefit was initially launched in the autumn of 2013.



A Brazilian TV crew interviewed volunteers at a food bank 'because they felt sorry for them'.

That's one of the stories from a special report on the affects of Universal Credit on a town that piloted the much-maligned system.

The launch of the controversial scheme in Oldham in Greater Manchester, in late 2013 has seen families fall into extreme poverty.

Food bank volunteer Diana Walsh told the Manchester Evening News that staff 'often see grown men in tears because they can't believe they're here'.

Demand at the pub-turned-foodbank increased 10% last year and in the year to December, Oldham housed nearly 400 children in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts.

Image

Two thirds of those now coming into the town’s food bank for help in 2019 are in work.

As part of a special report Zoey Stansfield spoke about how the area is still struggling to adjust to the six-in-one benefit.

She said: “It’s not just about people ‘on benefits’,”

“Universal Credit (UC) includes working tax credit. Which means they’re working.

"We have had nurses coming in. There’s not often an acknowledgement that you could be working and claiming UC.”

Due to demand, the food bank expanded into the former Three Crowns pub a couple of years ago. Instead of gin and vodka there are now thank-you cards pinned behind the bar.

Diana said: “One lady came in here today, her brother-in-law had died and his wife couldn’t cope.

“She’d taken six children into her home but she couldn’t get any benefits for them at all. With her own, that’s eight children in a two bed house.

“She hadn’t got bedding or anything for them. Social services are involved but it’s going to take a few weeks, so what’s she going to do?

“There’s no emergency provision. We are the emergency service. But we are not government funded.”

Diana, notes the ‘sheer embarrassment’ she felt when a film crew from Brazil visited to interview them about poverty earlier this year, ‘because they felt sorry for us’.

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham and Saddleworth East, says ‘not a week a goes by’ without her office seeing at least one distressing case related to the benefit.

In recent weeks she has raised in Parliament the case of Sally, a single mum who escaped an abusive relationship, only to have her UC docked by £400 due to her circumstances changing.

June, who has a two-year-old daughter and works for the police, told by the JobCentre that UC would pay 85% of her childcare costs but still waiting for the money six months later, having had to pay upfront.

In another case, Amanda, a single mum with ‘significant’ mental health problems who was sanctioned for failing to fill in an online review, days before giving birth.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that the reasons for people using food banks are 'complex', and that Universal Credit is a 'force for good with 2.2 million people now being supported by the benefit.'

"It gives people financial help if they’re unemployed, low-paid or unable to work. People can get their first payment on day one of their claim as an advance and we continue to make improvements”, a spokesman said.
348 posts