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FOOD / Energy / Clothing BANKS : MORE A HUMANITARIAN THREAD ? 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018 - Page 37 - 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.
396 posts
Ground zero ... Erdington , Birmingham ... still part of the UK , just ?

" System is in crisis " - Boss of Erdington food bank feeding record 1,000 people per month

Kevin Warrington said his food bank served 100 people a month five years ago but now provides food for 1,000



A food bank boss told how demand has rocketed to 1,000 people per month and said: "The system's in crisis."

Kevin Warrington says Bethany Community Outreach Food Bank, based at a warehouse in Erdington, is now feeding TEN times as many people as five years ago.

"It is fair to say people are desperate and the system is in crisis.

"When the food bank was first set up five years ago we would have around 100 people coming to see us seeking assistance. Now the figure is ten times that amount.

"We have people from all different backgrounds and walks of life seeking assistance from us. We see a lot of domestic abuse cases, where women leave the home with nothing and they are desperate not just for food but nappies for their babies.

"Then we have people on benefits with large families who still struggle to feed themselves each week. Then there are the homeless, the elderly and are people who have just lost their jobs and have no money coming in to feed themselves.

"We have noticed a lot of people in this situation over Christmas."

The food bank operates on a referral basis from various agencies including Birmingham City Council, Police, Homestart, Housing Associations, Job Centre, local churches and local community groups.

It is open on Tuesday to Thursday from 11.30am to 1pm and Wednesday 11am to 12pm.

The food bank covers Erdington, Tyburn, Castle Vale, Kingstanding but people in need come as far away as Ladywood, Newtown and Longbridge.

It also offers a signpost service offering people advice on housing and financial issues.

Unlike many food banks Bethany Community Outreach Food Bank supplies people with a good variety of food which also includes frozen and fresh food.

Any food which is not used is distributed to other food banks, Salvation Army, the homeless or other community groups on a daily basis, so that nothing is wasted.

At the moment there are 16 volunteers at the food bank but there is a need for more help.

The food bank is also at the end of its lease in February and is looking for new premises.

Mr Warrington added: "The food bank has grown from a base at the church to a warehouse. Now we must move and find new premises. Demand continues to grow."
Three ways to donate unwanted Christmas presents.

You may have taken down your Christmas decorations, but you’re probably left with a mass of well-intentioned but unwanted gifts.

Here are three alternative ways to get rid of them while helping others.

Beauty or hygiene banks

Beauty Banks and The Hygiene Bank both aim to tackle hygiene poverty.

They believe that being clean is a basic human right rather than a luxury or privilege.

As charities, they rely on volunteers in the community and donations from people, collecting and redistributing personal care items to those in need.

Items such as shampoo, soap, sponges, razors, lotion, as well as nappies and wipes are gratefully received, as long as they’re in date and in the original packaging (though half packs of nappies are welcomed).

The items can be dropped off at local collection points such as libraries, schools or supermarkets (depending on the area), and are donated to homeless charities, victims of modern slavery and the YMCA for example.

The Hygiene Bank has distributed over 50 tonnes of personal care items in the UK in the year and a half since launching.

Baby bank

Little Village accepts clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of five. It distributes the items to families in London who may be dealing with unemployment, low wages or domestic violence. Usually those in need are identified and referred by health visitors, children’s centres and midwives. The charity says child poverty is rising and is at its highest in inner London, despite the capital being one of the wealthiest cities in the world.

It currently operates in Wandsworth, Camden and Southwark and in its first two years, it has gifted nearly £900,000 of donations to families in need. It runs a monthly ‘wishlist’ of items and requests items are in fully working order, with an instruction manual, clean and unstained clothes, toys with all parts and equipment with all the screws and nuts.

Food bank

The Trussell Trust is on a mission to end hunger and poverty in the UK and provides emergency food and support to people. It supports over 1,000 food bank centres in the UK and accepts non-perishable and in-date food which are usually tinned or dried. You can usually donate at local supermarket collection points or food banks, while schools and churches also tend to accept food during harvest and Christmas.

Once people are identified, they receive a food bank voucher allowing them to access emergency food supplies. You can also donate non-food items such as toiletries and hygiene products.
Food bank usage in Scotland soars by 22%.

Campaigners have called on Holyrood ministers to use existing powers to increase funding to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

A growing number of people in Scotland are relying on food banks for basic supplies, with more than 1,000 parcels now being issued every day at branches across the country.

Research has revealed that claims for emergency food from the Trussell Trust and other independent food banks has increased by 22 per cent over an 18 month period.

Between April 2018 and September 2019, at least 596,472 food parcels were handed out, analysis by charity partnership A Menu For Change found.

But campaigners warned that such figures represented only “the tip of the iceberg of those experiencing food insecurity”, with many people often skipping meals or going without food instead of using a food bank.

The partnership, which includes Oxfam Scotland and the Child Poverty Action Group, called for the UK Government to “ensure people have sustainable and secure incomes to stop them being pushed into food insecurity”.

They also called on Holyrood ministers to use existing powers to increase funding to the Scottish Welfare Fund - which it said had faced a real-terms cut since 2013 - to ensure local authorities were able to support people at crisis point.

The Scottish Government said “no one should be left hungry and have to rely on charitable food provision in a country as prosperous as Scotland”.

A spokesman added: “Food bank use has been directly linked to UK Government welfare cuts, benefit sanctions and the flawed Universal Credit.

“To tackle this we invested over £1.4 billion in support for low income households in 2018-19, including over £100 million to mitigate the worst impacts of UK Government welfare cuts.

“This includes our Scottish Welfare Fund, which is a vital lifeline for people facing times of crisis.

“Since its introduction in April 2013, nearly £210 million has been paid out from the SWF to help over 347,000 individual households across Scotland.

“Our £3.5 million Fair Food Fund is supporting communities to respond to food insecurity in a way that promotes dignity and help them move away from charitable food aid as a primary response.”

But Scottish Labour described the figures as a “national scandal”.

MSP David Stewart said: “The SNP’s failure to use powers it already has to challenge the devastating impact of Tory cuts at Westminster mean adults and children across the country are being failed every day.

“The First Minister must take action now to reverse the continuing rise of food bank dependency in Scotland by making sure every person has access to affordable housing, a real living wage and a stable jobs market that means it always pays to work.”

A spokeswoman for the UK Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “The reasons for people using food banks are complex.

“The UK Government continues to spend around £95 billion a year on working age benefits, with Universal Credit supporting more than 2.7 million people across the UK. It gives people financial help if they’re unemployed, low-paid or unable to work.

“The benefit cap ensures fairness by asking families receiving benefits to face the same financial choices as families supporting themselves solely through work.

“Meanwhile, Scotland has significant welfare powers and can top-up existing benefits.”
Ground zero ... Liverpool ... the red half currently top of the Premiership ... and in Food Bank User percentages :

Liverpool supermarket donates to local foodbanks.

Jack's have provided over 60,000 meals.


Local people needing a helping hand in Liverpool are able to access even more food donations thanks to the Community Food Connection scheme at Jack’s.

As part of the initiative, Jack’s supermarkets in Edge Hill and Walton, part of the Tesco family, have contributed towards the 62,000 meals that have been donated to local charities by Jack’s during the supermarket’s first year of trading.

The scheme, managed by charity FareShare, links Jack’s with local charities and community groups, allowing the supermarket to redistribute surplus food that’s left over at the end of the day to ensure it’s not going to waste.

The Jack’s store managers use an app to let local food banks know how much surplus food they expect to have for donation, and charities then respond to confirm they will come to collect it.

Thomas Evason, store manager at Jack’s Edge Hill, said: “We launched the Community Food Collection scheme to reduce food waste, and help those who might be struggling to make ends meet.

“We are delighted that the initiative has been so successful and we’ve managed to help so many people throughout the year. We hope to build on this in 2020 through our partnership with FareShare and continue to support our local communities in both Walton and Edge Hill.”

Throughout 2019, Jack’s has donated enough food to provide 62,310 meals to people needing a helping hand across the UK.

FareShare chief executive, Lindsay Boswell, said: “The food that Jack’s donates makes a really big difference to local charities and communities across the UK.

“We are proud to have been able to work with Jack’s and Tesco to create this pioneering scheme, which is the biggest of its kind in the UK. We hope that by celebrating this milestone with Tesco and Jack’s colleagues and customers, we can reach out to even more charities and community groups so that they can receive the free surplus food that the stores are able to offer.”
Ground zero ... Newton Aycliffe , Durham :

Junior Footballers Stock Food Bank.


Newton Aycliffe Junior Football Club would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to all the parents, volunteers and supporters who kindly contributed to their Christmas food bank collection in December. Donations were beyond anything they could have anticipated and the organisers at the club were amazed and very appreciative of how much food and essential supplies they managed to collect within the space of just one week.

All donations were gratefully accepted by the Trussell Food Bank Trust the week before Christmas. The Trussell Trust support a nationwide network of food banks, provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty and also campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children.

The Trussell Trust support more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. The most local food bank connected with the Trussell Trust operates from St. Clare’s Church in Newton Aycliffe.

NAJFC plan to make their food bank collection a regular event within the club thanks to the support it received.
GP surgeries to host foodbanks in local scheme

GP surgeries in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to set up food banks to help patients in need.

From this week, practices in Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport will be suggested to place a box in their surgery for people to donate food and essential products.

The initiative is proposed by a charity called Homeless-Friendly, which was set up by Dr Zahid Chauhan, a GP in Oldham, and launched by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

The charity has stated that the aim is for practices to help alleviate poverty and health problems associated with poor diet seen in patients.

As part of the initiative, posters will be displayed in practices to highlight what items can be donated.

Homeless-Friendly has said practices can also work with their local authority to ensure the food donated is appropriate.

Furthermore, a member of practice staff will be nominated to manage the food bank and will be asked to discretely note who uses the bank and will pass on any concerns of patients using it to a GP.

Dr Chauhan said it is important to note the results of not eating or eating poorly, given that the impact of malnutrition in terms of obesity has been ‘well-documented’.

He said: ‘Perhaps people will say that we have come to a pretty point when practices have to try and help feed the hungry. But with community centres disappearing and pubs and places of worship closing, they are one of the last remaining hubs of the community.

‘By staging a foodbank, surgeries are not only improving health but taking a lead in raising awareness of the crippling poverty many people are now living in.’

Earlier this year, research suggested that people living in poor areas face greater health inequalities when it comes to just accessing GP appointments.

Pulse has previously reported GPs increasingly referring patients to food banks. A Pulse survey of almost 700 GPs found that over one in five GPs had been asked to refer a patient to a food bank in that year.


It will rollout across the country ... as surely as night follows day ???
Ground zero ... Middlesbrough , Teeside ... and their problems are increasing :

DWP : New Food Bank to help rising number of struggling families - with Universal Credit blamed.

Council staff will be given two hours a week paid leave to volunteer at the Food Bank which will be the NINTH in Middlesbrough.

A new food bank is being launched in Middlesbrough after it was found numbers using the current services have risen by up to 40 per cent every month.

Local authority staff are also going to be given two hours a week paid leave to allow them to volunteer at the lifeline charity which provides emergency food parcels to struggling families and individuals.

Delays in the time it takes for people to be paid benefits when they move on to Universal Credit was one of a number of reasons behind the hike in figures which were revealed in a Middlesbrough Council review.

Figures from The Trussell Trust showed 16,521 emergency food parcels were issued to people in need across Teesside in 2018/19 - up from 15,339 the year before.

Their increased use sparked a Middlesbrough Council review which has asked for “agreement to be sought” for authority staff to give up their time at a new Food Bank lined up in the town centre.

Cllr Chris McIntyre, chairman of the culture and communities scrutiny panel, told the latest overview and scrutiny board that staff should be granted a maximum of two hours a week to help run the new food bank.

The report added: “It is therefore recommended that agreement be sought for Middlesbrough Council staff, where appropriate, to be granted paid time off to volunteer in the food bank.

“Appropriate training from the Trussell Trust would be provided for this.”

The review found there was “roughly a 30-40% increase” in use of Middlesbrough’s food banks every month in 2019 - with the panel made aware of increased use during the school holidays and parents “skipping meals”.

Councillors also recommended a new Food Bank be set up in Middlesbrough town centre alongside the Trussell Trust to take the town’s tally to nine.

Cllr McIntrye added: “It’s sad that we need food banks but they play an essential role in the lives of many families.

“I’d like to thank the staff and volunteers who work very hard and show such commitment.”

The review was launched in response to concerns about increased poverty in the borough and Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston’s pledge to end hunger in the town.

The final report found benefit delays, unemployment, sickness - including mental health - and debt were factors behind Food Bank use.

Panellists were also told it cost £3,900 a month to run Food Banks in the town - with each “generally short of £500 every month” despite donations due to rent costs and running a van to collect and deliver food

Middlesbrough’s Food Banks operate through referrals where professional agencies issue vouchers to individuals or families in need.

Individuals have a choice of eight distribution centres where they can redeem the voucher for a food parcel.

There are Food Banks at :

St Barnabas, Linthorpe.

Coulby Newham Baptist Church.

Grove Hill Methodist Church.

St Timothy's Hemlington - Operating from Hemlington Medical Centre.

Middlesbrough Community Church.

Berwick Hills Baptist Church.

Holy Trinity North Ormesby.

Trinity Methodist Church, Whinney Banks.
Ground zero ... Buxton , Derbyshire ... a very desirable manor ... for some ?

Generous shoppers donate more than 11,000 meals to food banks.

Thousands of meals have been donated to food banks and groups feeding people in the local community thanks to the generosity of Tesco in Derbyshire shoppers, new figures reveal.


Shoppers in Derbyshire donated 11,106 meals as part of the overall total of 2.5 million meals donated to charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare by shoppers during last month’s Tesco Food Collection, with Tesco topping up the value of all the donations by an additional 20 per cent.

The donations to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network are being used to provide food parcels for people in crisis, while donations to FareShare go to charities and community groups such as homeless shelters and older people’s lunch clubs who also receive surplus food from Tesco stores.

The donations from the three-day collection are in addition to items donated by customers throughout the year at a network of more than 500 permanent collection points at Tesco stores.

In the year to October more than seven million meals were donated to food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network at those in-store collection points.

Christine Heffernan, Tesco director, said: “On my visits to stores during the Collection I was taken aback by the generosity of our customers.

“I would like to thank all those who donated and we will be doing our bit by topping up all the donations by 20 per cent.”

Emma Revie, chief executive at the Trussell Trust, commented: “Food banks up and down the country could not do what they do without the incredible support of the public and their loyal volunteers who work tirelessly to help people when they need support the most.

“Any donations help make that difference.”

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive at FareShare, added: “We are hugely grateful to every single person who volunteered and donated items during this year’s Tesco Food Collection - it was wonderful to see so many passionate people lending a hand to support us.

“All items donated by Tesco customers will be redistributed by FareShare to charities and community organisations and will help to ensure more people get a hot, nutritious meal.”
Ground zero ... Wakefield , West Yorkshire ... last time I was there , the manor seemed to be collapsing in on itself ... a sense of lawlessness ?

A foodbank was vandalised. It now needs our help.


Vandals who have repeatedly attacked a foodbank have left the centre facing closure. So one man is trying to raising funds to protect its future. But the incidents paint a broader picture. Because they suggest the ‘scrounger’ rhetoric of recent years has taken hold.

St Catherine’s Church Centre in Wakefield operates a foodbank. As the Wakefield Express reported, it dealt with around 13 referrals a day in 2018. But since October 2019, it has suffered numerous attacks of vandalism.

Most recently, the foodbank had to turn people away.

A “ Vital life line "

The church centre’s manager, Lisa Grant, told The Canary:

" The recent spate of vandalism has had a tremendous negative effect on the running of our food bank. We had to close the service for a full day to undertake cleaning and to secure the building. Due to the contamination caused by broken glass we had to throw away hundreds of pounds of food items which we couldn’t risk distributing."

" We also had to turn away over 20 people on the day we were closed as we were unable to provide them with food at that time. Our food bank is a vital life line for adults and children at a time of crisis and great stress."

" Many of our service users come to us and tell us that they haven’t eaten for days. This is particularly true for parents, as they will often go without meals in order to provide food for their children."

" Demand for our food bank is continuing to grow at an alarming rate. In 2017, we distributed 3,576 food parcels. In 2018, we distributed 5,887. And in 2019, we distributed 7,983. These figures do not include the growing number of clients who are visiting us weekly for free evening meals (run twice per week) during which we provide on average 35 free hot dinners per week."

But now, someone has come to the foodbank’s aid.

Joshua Brandwood is raising money for the foodbank. He’s trying to make sure it can keep its doors open. But he’s not just asking for money. He’s also doing a 20k run on 8 February to raise the much-needed cash.

Brandwood told The Canary :

" After reading reports in both the local and national press, I felt compelled to help. I have a lot of family in Yorkshire and I’ve personally fallen on hard times in the past and relied on support from others. As a Lancastrian, I would like to reach out to my Yorkshire neighbours. I find this sad incident an opportunity to give something back. Falling on hard times can happen to anybody, so it’s important these vital organisations are supported in any way possible."

" Now more than ever during times of austerity, it is vital communities help one and other. It’s cliché, but together we can make a greater difference to the lives of others."

The fundraiser has delighted Grant. She told The Canary :

" The money that Joshua is raising for us is incredible. It will help us to make the necessary repairs to the building and also go towards putting in place some further security measures to deter further acts of mindless vandalism."

" We started the week feeling very saddened and discouraged and questioning whether we could go on providing this service. Now, we are very much determined to continue with the help and support we have from our community."

If you wish to donate to his fundraising, you can find more details here.

Also, if you have any information about the vandalism, you can report it to the Wakefield Central Neighbourhood Policing Team. Just call 101 referencing police crime
number 13200019324.

A wider problem

The attacks on the foodbank, however, are endemic of a wider problem in UK society. Recently, someone stabbed four homeless people in Manchester. Hate crimes against disabled people rose by just under 12% in 2018-19. St Catherine’s foodbank, meanwhile, is not the first to be vandalised. And it probably won’t be the last.

The “scrounger” rhetoric which dominated government and media narratives during the last decade has real world effects. We now live in a society where people needing support in difficult times are often viewed like the ‘undeserving poor‘ used to be. And repeated attacks on foodbanks are the thin end of this dangerous wedge. Moreover, the rise of foodbanks and poverty in the UK is seen by many as a political choice: the Tories choosing austerity over millions of people’s wellbeing. But it’s comforting to know people like Brandwood are there to help.

So please, donate if you can.
More food banks are also carrying these products :

Period poverty : Schools urged to order free menstrual products.

State schools and colleges in England can now order free period products for students as part of a government scheme to tackle period poverty.

Tampons, pads and menstrual cups will be available for primary and secondary institutions to order if they opt in.

The scheme aims to help prevent children missing school if they don't have access to products at home.

Campaigners have warned that schools could disadvantage their pupils if they do not take up the scheme.

Schools will be able to choose from a range of items using an online system, but can also place orders via email or over the phone.

The products, from supplier phs Group, include single-use and reusable pads, applicator and non-applicator tampons, and menstrual cups.

The government is giving each school a set amount of money to spend on products in 2020 - calculated on the basis that 35% of pupils who menstruate will use them.

They come at a range of prices, so it is up to individual schools to decide how they spend their allocated budgets.

It follows the government's announcement last March that it would fund free period products for secondary school students. The pledge was subsequently extended to primary schools.

Amika George, 20, started the campaign to get free period products into schools when she was 17.

She said schools should talk to students about provision, to break down stigma and to make sure they knew the demand was there to opt into the system.

Different students would need different products, she said. For example, pads for children who cannot use tampons for cultural or religious reasons.

Lynda Erroi, head of year seven at Southam College in Warwickshire, said she often works with students who have "no plan in place for when periods start" or cannot afford products.

"This will reduce the stress for any student who is trying hard to attend school when period products are an issue in their life," she said.

"Staff will also feel more empowered that they are able to request supplies and support a child's needs."

The college previously worked with the Red Box Project, which has provided free period products to schools since 2017.

Co-founder Anna Miles said the government scheme could mean the difference between a child attending and skipping school.

She described it as a "step towards genuine equality".

Children and Families Minister Michelle Donelan said the scheme will mean young people can "go about their daily lives" without having to worry.

The Department for Education website says the rate reflects the fact that not all students will need the products all of the time, and is mirrored in a scheme that is already rolled out in Scotland.

Wales introduced funding for free products in schools from April 2019.

One local authority in Northern Ireland offers free products in public places.

Orders from schools are expected to be delivered within five working days.
396 posts