FOOD / ENERGY / CLOTHING BANKS : Trussells & Related News / Guidance / 100,000+ Carers Reported As Needing Them In 2018

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Ground zero ... YorkieLand ... and now the workers turn to the food banks : ... -1-9355749

Yorkshire workers turning to food banks as finances bite.

With emergency food provision at a record high, Laura Drysdale explores what has contributed to the struggle experienced by so many families – including those in employment.

When a person employed by a local council visits a food bank in need of support, there’s something going wrong. Lindsay Killick, the director of Real Aid children’s charity in East Yorkshire, makes the point as he speaks of the struggling families who have turned to the organisation since it opened its first food bank in 2009. “We are seeing more and more people come in and more and more people from very different backgrounds,” he says.

The charity was established in 2001, originally as an international aid organisation to help children and families in poverty overseas. Its attention turned closer to home when the county was badly hit by flooding in 2007.

The food bank followed that flood aid relief programme, in response to poverty “on the doorstep” – and its main purpose was to help low income, working families. “I have been running a food bank for nine years,” says Lindsay. “And I really never envisaged that I would have to do that. I honestly can’t see any end to it being used and it’s very upsetting.”

The financial crisis that led to the 2008 banking bailout and subsequent austerity measures, he believes, is at least in part to blame for people, particularly those on low incomes or zero-hours contracts, becoming insecure in their finances. The policy of austerity, in his view, “has contributed massively towards the inequality and suffering of the poorest in our society”.

“Whatever cuts have been made they have always affected the lower paid and the unemployed and zero-hours workers first,” says Dave Sample, the co-founder of Mission Trinity in Goole, which supports people in need.

The centre was set up in 2010 and has got “busier and busier” since then he says – adding that there are “fewer people that have been able to rely on a steady income” since the 2008 financial crash. “There’s a great difference between those doing well and those who don’t make ends meet at all. Those at the bottom are finding themselves really struggling.”

Food essentials given out by the centre are a drop in the ocean of a national picture of demand. The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of more than 420 food banks operating at in excess of 1,200 centres, gave a record 1.33 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in the last financial year.

The charity made a call for benefit levels to be increased in line with inflation earlier this year, stating a failure for payments to keep pace with the cost of living essentials was driving the increase in food bank use overall.

According to the trust, ‘low income’ accounted for 28 per cent of referrals UK-wide in 2017-18, whilst 24 per cent were put down to benefit delays and a further 18 per cent to benefit changes. But the reasons why people use food banks are complex, a Government spokesperson says, suggesting it is “wrong” to link a rise to any one cause.

The charity’s analysis of data from electronic referrals suggests 14 per cent of households were earning an income of some form.

“Tens of billions of pounds have been taken out of our welfare system in recent years and this shows no signs of stopping,” wrote Garry Lemon, director of policy, external affairs and research at the trust in a recent blog for End Hunger UK. “We see the consequences of these policy decisions every day in our foodbanks up and down the UK.”

Usage is not the only rise experienced; the number of food bank locations has “increased hugely” from a “handful” in 2008 to a UK total number of at least 2009, including 774 independents, notes Sabine Goodwin, research and campaigns coordinator for the Independent Food Aid Network.

The financial crash resulted in austerity measures that hit the welfare state, she says. “Multiple benefit cuts and delays, the punitive sanction system and the rollout of Universal Credit have pushed many individuals and families across the UK into desperate poverty. The Independent Food Aid Network would like to see the end of the need for emergency food aid and believes that it is systemic change that will make that happen. The rebuilding of the welfare state and the payment of adequate wages that meet living costs are both key to addressing the food poverty crisis.”

It is hard to say for certain what impact the financial crash had on people’s daily lives, says Kevin Dobson, project manager at the Community Awareness Programme (CAP Care) in Wakefield, though he believes the hardships many of those attending the help scheme experienced in the years following it were “too much of a coincidence”. “It has to have had something to do with it. All those macro-financial pressures come to bear then they end up having an impact on people’s personal finances.”

Since 1997, the organisation has supported people in need in the city with help including assistance into housing, food and clothing. In 2004, its daily attendance was around 13 but by 2014 this had risen to a peak 87, up from 46 just a year earlier. Cuts under the austerity programme were likely a contributory factor he says, as well as a “general tightening of the economic situation across the country” following the financial crash.

“All that conspired to plummeting people into desperate problems that they weren’t in before,” he says.

Those who walk through CAP Care’s door are referred through other organisations and there’s usually a catalyst such as a job loss or relationship breakdown that spirals into other issues, explains Kevin. They can go from having “house, spouse, dog, job, car, everything in place and then within three to six months, finding themselves sleeping in the park”.

The financial crash contributed to those catalysts, he believes, with “stress and pressure on people’s personal finances” being “thrown into the pot”. Average attendance numbers at the support scheme hovered around 70 for several years following the surge, though there was a constant stream of new referrals, as others moved on. In 2018 though, that has risen to around 80 and “it feels like it’s happening again”, says Kevin.

Ashwin Kumar, chief economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a social change organisation with its head office in York, says even people in work are struggling to make ends meet following a long period of wage stagnation combined with rising prices. He says while things improved around 2014, after the Brexit referendum in 2016, the nation has seen a return to “high inflation and wages not keeping pace”. “For the past year or two we have seen prices going up as fast as wages so people haven’t found themselves better off.”

While the Government maintains work is “the best means of providing people with financial security”, adding that its welfare reforms are seeing people moving into employment faster and staying there longer, how things develop as Britain leaves the European Union remains to be seen.

Government defends approach

The Department for Work and Pensions says it is committed to supporting families.

A spokesman said: “Since 2010 over 3.3 million more people have moved into work, we’ve introduced the National Living Wage, doubled free childcare and helped workers keep more of the money they earn by cutting taxes for 31 million people by an average of £1,000. Meanwhile, one million people have been lifted out of absolute poverty, including 300,000 children.

“We’re committed to ensuring that families get the support they need. That’s why we’re spending £90 billion a year on working-age benefits, including for people on low incomes, and by 2022 we will be spending £28 billion more on welfare than we do now.”

NOTE ... workers,

As confirmed by other articles in other threads , the need for food banks is rising up the income ladder.

It really puts CUK's " Fairer for Carers " campaign into it's proper context !

DOUBLE / TRIPLE even ... Carers Allowance ... it won't ease the pressure on The Street ... more will be sucked in.
Ground zero ... Ipswich , Suffolk ... a microcosm for a traditionally very Conservative county ( Lowestoft excepted ! ) : ... -1-5716400

‘Call to arms’: Suffolk High Sheriff urges people to support £100,000 foodbank appeal.

Suffolk’s sheriff has called for more organisations to pledge their support to a £100,000 fundraising campaign for an Ipswich foodbank charity.

Families in Need (FIND) has launched an appeal to move into new, larger headquarters amid soaring demand for its services – with more than 5,000 food parcels sent out every year.

Over £25,000 has already been raised since the campaign launched in March but more businesses, individuals, schools and other organisations are needed to sign up and pledge to each raise £2,000.

Suffolk’s High Sheriff George Vestey is the latest supporter to throw his weight behind the campaign, which has been backed by the Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and BBC Radio Suffolk.

Mr Vestey said: “Life is very tough for many people in our communities and, in most cases, these are perfectly normal people with normal lives, but suddenly money runs short and they need a helping hand.

“The FIND 50 appeal is on track. They are getting support from employers but they need more.

“So this is a call to arms for more local employers to come and support FIND with financial donations and other forms of help such as volunteering.

“So employers – open your cheque books. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community.”

Mr Vestey visited the food bank in Felixstowe Road on Friday, September 7 and awarded them the High Sheriff’s Certificate of Recognition – an official recognition of appreciation.

Ipswich Borough Council has identified one of its sites for FIND and planning approval has already been granted.

It is hoped that work can start on converting the site in the next few months and many local building firms have already stepped up to give free consultancy or other services, including Castons, Barnes Construction, MLM Group, JSH Consulting and Hoopers Architects.

Maureen Reynel MBE, founder and board chairman of FIND, said: “We are hugely grateful for every donation and all the support we have received so far.

“We hope that more companies, schools and groups will come forward to help us reach our £100,000 target so we can continue providing support to individuals and families in desperate need.”

Mr Vestey added: “This is where FIND plays such an important role.

“It takes, so often, a wonderfully inspirational person like Maureen to lead an organisation and it’s been fantastic to see the absolute hub of activity with so many volunteers working so hard at the food bank.”

To sign up to the campaign visit the website or please email.

Donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries can be made to any local participating East of England Co-Op, Waitrose at Futura Park, and Sainsbury’s at Warren Heath.

Now taking bets ... which manor will be next under this thread ???

Want YOUR manor to appear ?

Just cross my palm with some foodbank vouchers ... the local currency on my manor.
Ground zero ... East Kilbride , Scotland ... and the 1nevitable ? ... --13266802

Food banks in crisis : Loaves & Fishes East Kilbride runs out of food for first time in 26 years.

It was a moment Denis Curran MBE thought would never happen.

For the first time in its 26-year history, East Kilbride’s Loaves & Fishes ran out of food.

The charity has so far this year handed out a staggering 1100 emergency food parcels to struggling families living on the breadline in the town.

And with the situation now critical, the charity was this month forced to issue a desperate plea for donations to stay afloat.

Denis, 75, admits he is “dreading” Christmas after spending £12,500 on food alone last December and £2600 on food parcels just last week.

It costs £64,000 a year to run the charity and with no funding from government, its tireless volunteers rely solely on donations.

“We are desperately in need of donations for our unit in East Kilbride,” Denis told the East Kilbride News.

“We’re dependant on what we get at Christmas and Easter and we don’t really get anything again until October.

“We have very little on the shelves and only have enough food to provide emergency parcels for the next few days. We very rarely come online to ask for anything, but the situation is now so severe we would greatly appreciate any help at all.

“It’s very difficult. We spend £2500 to 3000 a month on meals. At the moment we’re able to keep going but the money’s running right down now and if we’ve not got the money we simply can’t do it. It’s just not manageable. It all depends on the funding.

“I’ve never had to do this before but I decided we needed help and our secretary put a Facebook post up appealing for food at 2am last Thursday.

“By 10am, people were queuing up to give us food.

“We have been totally overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all the individuals, organisations and community groups who have came forward and offered us help.

“But from what we’ve been getting in the past few weeks, I dread to think what Christmas is going to be like.”

The number of food parcels handed out from the Loaves & Fishes base in the Kelvin Industrial Estate rocketed from 78 in March to 224 in April – an increase of 187 per cent.

And the numbers remained exceptionally high throughout the summer months with 215 given out in May, 158 in June and 180 last month.

Denis explained that demand is always higher during the Easter and summer school holidays when there is even more pressure on parents having mouths to feed 24/7.

He insists the rising number of people relying on food banks to survive reflects the stark reality of our broken benefits system.

“The numbers shoot up during the school holidays but it’s not always the same people coming through the door,” Denis commented.

“Some of them haven’t come for three or four months and all of a sudden they’re back.

“Why? Because their benefits are being stopped.

“They were managing fine then there’s a hiccup with the benefits in some way and that’s that. MPs say they’ve got to learn to budget their money. But how do you budget your money when it is being cut?

“We had a man come to us with three kids – none of them at school – and they sanctioned him because his wife had a miscarriage and he couldn’t get down to sign on.

“They said that wasn’t a good enough reason – well what is a good enough reason? It’s heartless. There is absolutely no compassion.

“People have no idea what it is like to come to a food bank. The unasked question is in the eyes – can you feed my kids? Because I can’t.

“I sit and listen to the welfare committee and it just makes me angry. They’re only going to give them three bags a year and talk all this rubbish saying we don’t want to make them dependant on us. Well I say when people come to you they’re dependant that you’re going to help them.

“Food banks are an indictment on people.”

Denis believes those in government are responsible for the current sorry state of affairs.

“All the government are doing is taking away people’s rights,” he said. “An educated country in 2018 that classes itself among the 12 world leaders and we’ve got poverty created by the government.

“They’re ruling with fear and people are frightened to do or say anything in case they lose the pittance they’ve got.

“There’s a rise in the amount of people coming through the doors – all food banks are experiencing it.

“The problem is ongoing and it’s just getting worse. Politicians say all the right words to you but talk’s cheap.”

Denis admits the search for a bigger premises in East Kilbride continues to be a sore point. After failing to secure the former Calderwood library and community centre, he is still waiting on news of another potential unit.

“The premises we’re in is too wee,” he said. “We just can’t function any more.

“We’re looking at a premises on Singer Road across from where we are. We were told we’d get in for Christmas but the building isn’t ready to move into. I’m going to get in touch with some MPs.

“People think I’m a political person because I speak about food banks all the time but I’m a people person.

“It concerns me the fact that we have kids who are not eating properly. A woman came to me and said all her two primary school boys had for four nights was dry bread and cold beans and she hadn’t eaten but pride and worry wouldn’t let her go to a food bank. That’s some power I’m holding when I’m going to decide if you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat. It’s heat or eat.”

Denis, who was awarded an MBE for his good work with the homeless and needy, says he feels food banks are being used to plug a gap that should be filled by the welfare state – and that the real people at the centre of the problem are often forgotten.

A video of the Calderwood grandad speaking at the Scottish Parliament went viral back in 2014, as he spoke passionately about food banks and the benefits sanctions that cause many people to use them.

Remembering that people in need are just people is at the centre of everything Denis and wife Cathie have done for the past 26 years and they never judge.

But Denis would love to live in a more equal society, so he didn’t have to provide the services he does.

“It’s dead simple,” Denis insisted.

“Food banks did not exist until David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith decided that everyone should be working and they cut the benefits. Your food banks started in 2010.

“Give them back their benefits, their proper benefits – it’s as simple as that. Give people back a bit of dignity and that will be the start of things getting better.

“Nicola Sturgeon wants every child to achieve its best – how does a child that goes to bed cold and hungry and wakes up in the morning cold and hungry achieve their best at school? They can’t.

“In a few years time we’re going to have a lot of angry young people because they’ve never had anything. What happened to them is we didn’t treat them properly.

“Yes we are all equal, just some are more equal than others. Scrimping and saving to survive is not living.”

Probably in the top 3 of articles / reports posted on this thread.

For the wrong reason ?
Trussells ... as reported in this morning's Guardian : ... ns-charity
Food bank use will soar after universal credit rollout, warns charity.

Trussell Trust calls for urgent changes to policy of moving 3m people on to new system.
Government plans to move 3 million people currently receiving tax credits and disability benefits on to universal credit from next April will trigger an explosion in food bank use, the Trussell Trust has warned.

The trust – the UK’s biggest food bank network – said urgent changes to the “managed migration” programme are needed to protect vulnerable claimants from falling into hardship or dropping out of the benefit system altogether.

The warning came as MPs prepare to scrutinise safeguards around managed migration – regulations covering the transfer are expected to be laid before parliament this month – with some concerned that too many claimants will be put at risk.

Under existing proposals about 1 million working families receiving tax credits and 750,000 sick and disabled people claiming employment and support allowance (ESA) will be given a month’s notice to apply for universal credit or risk losing their benefits.

Trussell said vulnerable claimants will be at particular danger of failing to navigate the notoriously complex online application for universal credit in time – and, even if they successfully complete it, will have to wait five or more weeks for a first payment.

The problems endured by claimants forced to wait a minimum of 35 days without income after applying for universal credit are well documented, and include rent arrears and eviction, reliance on food banks, stress and debt.

The trust wants the process of moving existing tax credit and ESA claimants to universal credit automated, rather than leaving people to make their own claim, to minimise the risks to vulnerable claimants. It also wants more budgeting and digital skills support to help them manage their claims.

Although claimants are given “transitional protection” guarantees that their universal credit award will not be lower than what they receive under previous benefits, the trust says this protection can be too easily lost if claimants’ circumstances change, for example, if they move house or have another child.

The Trussell’s CEO, Emma Revie, said: “We’re really worried that our network of food banks could see a big increase in people needing help. Leaving 3 million people to wait at least five weeks for a first payment – especially when we have already decided they need support through our old benefits or tax credits system – is just not good enough.”

She added: “Now is the time for our government to take responsibility for moving people currently on the old system over, and to ensure no one faces a gap in payments when that move happens. Universal credit needs to be ready for anyone who might need its help, and it needs to be ready before the next stage begins.”

New Trussell trust data shows moving on to universal credit from existing benefits is the fastest growing cause of referrals. On average, food bank demand in areas where universal credit has been in place for at least 12 months increased by 52%, compared with 13% in areas where the new benefit had been in place for three months or less.

Last month the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, warned that managed migration posed a “significant threat of harm” to vulnerable claimants, and that the rollout should be paused to enable stronger protections to be put in place.

Universal credit, which rolls six working-age benefits into one monthly payment, has been dogged by delays – it is currently six years behind schedule – and has been much criticised over design flaws that leave thousands of claimants in hardship.

When Trussells speak , the whole Street listens ... what they have to say effects all.

( Beauty banks ... how to dress mutton up as lamb ? ) ... ali-hughes

Sali Hughes on Beauty Banks : " A schoolchild thanked us for shower gel. "

A year ago, my friend and I set up a way to help those unable to afford even toothpaste or tampons.

Last year, while filming a report on homelessness for the BBC, I noticed a small box under the front desk of a homeless shelter. In it were single tampons, disposable razors, mini toothpaste tubes and mismatched tablets of soap.

These, I discovered, were brought in by members of staff and volunteers, so that when homeless clients had a job or a housing interview, a health appointment, a period, they could access the hygiene essentials most of us are able to toss into a shopping trolley with scarcely a thought. I texted a photograph of the understocked crate to a friend and colleague, Jo Jones, and within 48 hours, we had launched Beauty Banks.

Jo and I had been talking about this acute need for some time. A number of our friends are teachers, who were routinely buying toiletries for their pupils. They told us boys were failing to make friends because they couldn’t afford deodorant, and that girls were fashioning sanitary towels from newspaper or toilet roll. We had read the alarming statistics published by the Trussell Trust, a food bank network that this year will distribute some 1.3m three-day emergency food supplies to Britons (a third of them children) in crisis.

We all have to make choices, but those faced by people living in poverty can be incredibly stark. Invariably, people in this position would choose to eat rather than stay clean; the other essentials – toothbrushes, soap, razors – can gradually slip out of reach. People who struggle to maintain a basic level of hygiene often find their confidence, self-esteem and prospects suffer as a result. Men and women are unable to make themselves presentable for job interviews or work shifts; thousands of girls skip school because they can’t afford sanitary protection.

We felt no one should have to forgo washing in order to feed their children – especially when, between us, we had access to the world’s biggest toiletries brands and a huge community of beauty fans with an impressive track record in fundraising (my readers had recently sponsored my rough sleeping in aid of Centrepoint, to the tune of £40,000, the biggest single amount raised in 2017). What if we asked them to donate products?

Our mission is straightforward: to provide essential supplies to people who can’t afford them, via partner charities across the UK. Beauty Banks isn’t a physical “bank” as such; instead we supply local organisations who may not have our contacts.

The reaction has been overwhelming. In week one, Jo’s office was crammed with deliveries. By our second month, we were using three separate storage facilities. Friends and family were (and still are) driving toiletries to the north, south, east and west. Celebrity hairdresser Sam McKnight auctioned off his clothes to pay for couriers; Cate Blanchett’s makeup artist, Mary Greenwell, helped out, packing and taping cardboard boxes on her hands and knees.

Some of my readers’ children spent their birthday money on toothpaste. Among my favourites was a donation from Daisy, who sent toiletries bought with cash she’d originally earmarked to buy slime, saying she’d decided to help people “smell nice and feel good about themselves” instead. My sons divide sanitary towels from tampons in front of the telly.

Our learning curve has been steep. We had to get to grips with logistics, warehousing and the law, with the way regional charities and voluntary groups work, with scaling up distribution and scaling down packaging waste. Lawyers and web designers have stepped in to help, donating their time. Almost a year in, we have delivered to food banks, homeless shelters, NHS trusts, schools, family centres and churches all over the UK. T

he scheme has even been raised in the House of Commons, by Labour MP Carolyn Harris, during a debate on poverty – a somewhat surreal moment. Lobbying has become a big focus for us, alongside the ongoing grunt work involved in getting toiletries to places where they’re desperately needed. We had a lot to learn but, throughout, Jo and I have had one another – as well as an extraordinarily giving community of readers and social media followers.

There are four ways you can join in. First, you could box up any unused toiletries, baby products and period protection (all unopened), including minis from hotels and planes (the homeless community, in particular, is in need of portable sizes), and send them to us at Beauty Banks, c/o The Communications Store, 2 Kensington Square, London W8 5EP. If the cost of postage is prohibitive, you can shop our wishlist on the independent online cash’n’carry, which doesn’t charge postage; it also dramatically cuts packaging, petrol and carbon by loading toiletries directly on to pallets and delivering to us once weekly. If you live in Manchester, you can take your products to Superdrug in Piccadilly, Arndale or Salford, where a pilot drop-off scheme is up and running. If it proves popular, the chain will roll it out nationwide.

If none of this appeals, you can simply cut us out of the equation and take your products to your local food bank – they will still find their way to those who need them. While you do that, rest assured that Jo and I are working hard on the beauty industry, negotiating large bulk donations of shower gel, deodorant, shampoo, combs, sanitary protection, suncare, baby products and anything else we can get our hands on, direct from factories and retailers. Beauty brands, retailers and PR firms have been extraordinarily generous, providing couriers, sending huge pallets of products – and asking for nothing in return. But there are some huge multinationals we believe could still step in and change lives overnight.

We’ve had a stream of cards and letters from people who tell us that, because of Beauty Banks, they or their clients feel more confident and better able to cope with life. It’s frustrating and often infuriating that we are needed at all, of course – just as it is for the headteachers, doctors, vicars and volunteers we supply.

Recently, one schoolchild wrote to thank us for a tube of shower gel, saying, “Thank you so much for making me feel clean and special.” But the dignity of cleanliness shouldn’t be special; a shower shouldn’t be a luxury, but a basic human right.

There you have yet again folks ... GRASS ROOTS.

A project started at Street Level and now expanded manor wide.

The Carers' Dragons Den thread may be dead on here but ... at least a couple out there have got off their backsides and done something POSITIVE for others in the mire ! ... gons%20den
Food deserts ?

A new one ... let the Guardian explain : ... says-study

More than a million UK residents live in " Food deserts ", says study.

Experts say areas with limited access to cheap fresh food are fuelling health problems.

More than a million people in the UK live in “food deserts” – neighbourhoods where poverty, poor public transport and a dearth of big supermarkets severely limit access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, a study has claimed.

Nearly one in 10 of the country’s most economically deprived areas are food deserts, it says – typically large out-of-town housing estates and deprived inner-city wards served by a handful of small, relatively expensive corner shops.

Public health experts are concerned that these neighbourhoods – which are often also “food swamps” with high densities of fast-food outlets – are helping to fuel a rise in diet-related conditions such as obesity and diabetes, as well as driving food insecurity.

The most deprived areas include Marfleet in Hull, Hartcliffe in Bristol, Hattersley in Greater Manchester, Everton in Liverpool and Sparkbrook in Birmingham. Eight of Scotland’s 10 most deprived food deserts are in Glasgow, and three of Wales’s nine worst are in Cardiff.

The study, by the Social Market Foundation thinktank and food company Kellogg’s, says poor, elderly and disabled people are disproportionately affected, as they cannot afford or are physically unable to travel to large supermarkets.

Food deserts are defined by the report as neighbourhoods of between 5,000-15,000 people served by two or fewer big supermarkets. In “normal” areas of this size there are typically between three and seven large food stores, it says. Small shops are less likely to sell fresh or healthy food.

The report cites Lisa Cauchi, a mother of eight in Salford, in the north-west of England, who said the nearest reliable source of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables was a big supermarket half an hour’s walk away. She occasionally gets a taxi but finds that depletes her food budget. “A taxi is a meal,” she said.

A survey carried out as part of the study found that nearly a third of respondents reported that lack of money was the biggest barrier to eating healthily (29%), followed by lack of time to cook (22%). Some 18% said they did not know how to cook healthy meals.

“Everyday food insecurity is on the rise in neighbourhoods across the UK. For those living in a food desert this can mean having to dedicate a portion of an already stretched budget toward transportation costs in order to secure food,” said Megan Blake, a food security expert at the University of Sheffield.

Almost 4 million children in the UK are estimated to live in households that would struggle to afford to buy enough fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods to meet official nutrition guidelines, according to the Food Foundation. Food prices rose by 7.7% between 2002 and 2016, while incomes for the poorest families fell by 7.1%.

A Cambridge University study published last year found that people on low-incomes who live furthest from their supermarket were more likely to be obese that those who lived close by. It concluded that improving access to supermarkets for the least well-off – as well as raising their incomes – would help cut obesity.

Some states in the US have experimented with so-called “supermarket solutions” – offering loans and grants to big food stores to attract them into deprived areas as a way of increasing the availability of cheap, healthy foods.

Anna Taylor, chief executive of the Food Foundation, called for urgent action by local authorities and central government to tackle the problem. “If you’re in the poorest 20% of households you need to spend 42% of your disposable income after housing costs to afford the government’s recommended diet. Compound this with transport costs to get to a food shop and a healthy meal is even further out of reach.”

A government spokesperson said: “We are determined to support households to eat healthily … We support 1.1 million children with free school meals and 300,000 pregnant women, families and children under four with Healthy Start vouchers for free fruit, vegetables and milk.

“We are also investing £15m to increase the amount of surplus food from retailers and manufacturers redistributed to charities and community groups every year.”

Could have been posted in other threads ... POOREST THE HARDEST HIT ... being a prime candidate.

In essence , some areas are more deprived than others ... by adding ALL the relevant factors together.

As for our comrades living the poorest areas ....

Chasms again .... how many readers would swop their manor for one of those ???
Plenty over the past 7 days to chose from ... East Kilbride , Scotland , as the first " Ground zero " : ... s-13430742

Fight against poverty hits the streets of East Kilbride as campaigners garner public support.

Challenge Poverty in EK were collecting donations for local food banks and raising awareness of poverty in the town.


[quote] The fight against poverty took to the streets of East Kilbride with a stall in the town centre collecting much-needed donations for worthwhile local causes.

The stall, organised by new group Challenge Poverty in EK, was set up as a donation point for local food banks and to accept children’s clothes for charity Swap and Save One Stop Shop in Strathmore House as part of Challenge Poverty Week.

And once again the people of East Kilbride turned out in force to show their support with 10 large bags of shopping for food banks collected and over £60 in donations to be split between Loaves & Fishes, EK Community Food Bank and EK Back to School Bank.

There was also leaflets about all the different local services that can help at the event last weekend.

Murray man, Iain Hughes, founder of Homeless at Christmas organisation, was also there to take advantage of the group’s ‘Write To Someone You Miss This Christmas’ campaign, exclusive Christmas cards with envelopes that already have the stamp attached, supported by East Kilbride’s CA MediaPrint and the Royal Mail.

In line with the aims of Challenge Poverty Week, group members were also doing a street survey to highlight the reality of poverty in the town, challenge the stereotypes that exist about it and increase public support for more action to solve poverty.

With statistics from the End Child Poverty Campaign showing that just under a quarter of children in the East Kilbride South ward are living below the breadline and the News highlighting the plight of food banks in the town, the issue is more relevant than ever.

Challenge Poverty in EK Group members, Kirsten Robb and Iain Hughes, said:“There are so many great people and organisations in the town working to address poverty.

“And with child poverty in the town averaging about 20 per cent and only set to rise, we wanted to bring people together locally to see what else could be done.

“We kicked things off at a talk in June with the Poverty Alliance and EK resident and prize-winning author Darren McGarvey.

“Now, responding to local food banks’empty shelves, we organised this street stall for Challenge Poverty Week.

“I would just like to say a huge thank you to all the people who helped, shared their stories, donated and made contacts to help each other in the future.”

She added:“Beyond October, we will continue working together to plan longer term actions and projects that can reduce poverty.”

Peter Kelly, director of The Poverty Alliance, said: “It’s unacceptable that so many of us are trapped in the grip of poverty.

“Poverty restricts the choices people can make, leaving them in impossible situations like choosing either to heat their home or pay their rent. With rising living costs and unstable work, our economy is holding people down and stopping many from choosing their own path.

“We can solve poverty by loosening its grip on people. Benefits help release people from the restrictions our economy places on them, such as low pay and high housing costs.”

Common factors reduced to a simple reality.

Lack of better paying employment and level of benefits simply too low.

Housing ?

You don't really want to know ... do you ?
Ground zero ... Darlington , Teeside : ... challenge/
Darlington foodbanks benefit from half-tonne challenge.

THOSE struggling with food poverty can enjoy fresh produce thanks to the efforts of green-fingered volunteers.

After setting themselves a half-tonne challenge in May, the team at High Grow Darlo are celebrating smashing their target and growing 665kg of food.

Since the charitable challenge began, an array of fruit and vegetables has been delivered to foodbanks in Darlington each week in quantities ranging from four to 108 kg.

Families and individuals in need have benefited from a boost in donations of healthy and nutritious food, including cauliflowers, tomatoes, apples and butternut squash.

Margaret Hughes, from High Grow Darlo, said: “We have done it and we have smashed it.

“Truthfully, we didn’t even think our target was achievable but it goes to show what hard work, dedication and team work can do.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has supported us throughout this journey.

“We have enjoyed every minute of it and we’re not done yet – there’s loads more to come.”

In order to produce the quantity of food needed to hit their target, High Grow Darlo was assisted by Groundwork North East which helped to provide allotment space and teams from Cummings who helped to maintain the site.

Other allotment holders at Bellburn supported the initiative by donating some of their own produce.

Carolyn Todd, the foodbank manager at King’s Church, said the influx of food was helping them to provide meals for some of Darlington’s most vulnerable people.

She praised the volunteers and said: “We were astounded every week and looked upon in amazement as they brought in boxes upon boxes of delicious organically grown produce in abundance, which we were then able to use and distribute to other foodbanks in the area. “This has enabled us and other foodbanks to keep on making up the well-balanced boxes of food to Darlington’s most vulnerable people in food poverty.

“High Grow Darlo has been a huge blessing to a lot of people, they are a great team of volunteers who have such a heart for their community, and we feel privileged in working alongside them.”

The music of CarerLand ... grass roots.

Not an academic or suit in sight !

Communities acting as one to defeat a common enemy.
A call to arms ... needed nationwide ... one from the Dorset Echo ... hardly a region one would associate with social problems ? ... es-hungry/

Voices: We should all pitch in to make sure no one goes hungry.

IN the UK wages are dropping and the cost of living is rising meaning more and more people are struggling to make ends meet.

With the cold weather setting in I ask you to think about those in need and donate to your local food bank.

It’s not just providing a meal that makes food banks so valuable to our communities.

Food banks not only offer people food and essentials but they provide a safe place, shelter, company and support.

They offer a sympathetic ear and helpful advice to help people get back on their feet.

Sometimes when the world looks bleak, they offer a sympathetic ear and helpful advice to help people get back on their feet.

Sometimes when the world looks bleak all we as humans need is a sympathetic ear to listen so we can unburden our problems and feel less alone.

Many food banks also partner with health advisors, doctors, social workers and the police who give food bank vouchers to someone whose wellbeing they are concerned with. This co-operation helps so many people across the county.

On top of this, they also run free school meals, holiday and breakfast clubs to parents who are struggling to afford childcare.

Food banks can be found at location all across Dorset however, they rely on donations so can only feed local people in crisis if we all pitch in and help out.

Weymouth Food Bank was started in 2012 and in its first year it fed 820 people in need. By 2015 this number had risen to 2,057 and organisers say the demand continues to increase.

Next time you go shopping could you spare a few pounds to buy some food to donate? Perhaps you could buy some extra toiletries to help other get by? If we all pitch in we can make sure everyone in our area has enough to get by and no one goes hungry.

So, whilst you’re tucked up warm in your house and are tucking into your delicious dinner, spare a thought for those who are struggling and have to rely on food banks and think about how you can do your bit.

Middle England issuing a rallying cry ?

" Oh those poor devils. Thankfully not one of us. Must do our bit for God / King / Country ... after all , that's the patriotic thing to do ? "

Perhaps ... soon be taking a different view if their tax rates went up so that poverty could be reduced ... add in the words HEAT and ROOF and they might be somewhere nearer the mark ?


Meanwhile , back in the somewhat real world ... the locals around Hartlepool show what CAN be done : ... -1-9425865

Amazing three tonnes of food donated to Hartlepool food bank as town shows its kindness after empty shelves appeal.

A Hartlepool food charity’s shelves are looking far more healthy after a massive surge in support.

Just weeks ago, Hartlepool Foodbank’s warehouse was looking practically empty after a drop in donations and rising demand.

But a public appeal for more support, including in the Mail and on social media, and harvest donations by schools and churches has resulted in about three tonnes of food being collected.

Abi Knowles, coordinator of Hartlepool Foodbank, said: “It has been great and is really going to make a huge difference.

“The food we have collected is going to see us into the busier period before we start getting Christmas donations in.

“We had a brilliant response to our appeals. We normally contact schools and churches around this time of year.

“Schools particularly have got behind us and a lot of people have said they had seen on social media or in the paper that we were struggling a little bit.”

The food bank, based in Church Street, supports about 120 people every week.

It gives out about half a tonne of food a week meaning the recent donations should last around six weeks.

It is part of the Trussell Trust charity which runs food banks up and down the country.

Abi added: “Around Christmas the amount of food we give out goes up because we give out emergency food parcels.

“They weigh about 20kg and we give out up to 900 in the lead up to Christmas to different organisations as well as our usual sessions, so the recent donations are going to make a huge difference.”

Vouchers are provided by a host of partner agencies to be exchanged for food parcels containing enough for three days. The amount of food given out varies as the vouchers are used by single people, couples and whole families of up to 10 people.

Earlier this week, Hartlepool Borough Council agreed to give the food bank £10,000 to support its work.

Volunteers are wanted to help with the food bank’s big upcoming Christmas collection.

It takes place at Tesco Extra, Burn Road, Hartlepool, between Thursday, November 29 and Saturday, December 1.

Abi said: “Any help would be really appreciated. We generally get 1.5 tonnes of food from the collection which is really vital for us over Christmas and into January.”

Hartlepool , Durham and Dorset ... worlds apart ... and yet similar problems.

Just like the Black Death in 1349 ... no one is immune !
Would cooking lessons help some of these people, to learn how to feed a family from raw ingredients? When my husband was made redundant, for the second time, we were on income support. My husband and sons were all over six feet tall, and I was just 2" under.

I did Domestic Science at school, and can cook a good meal for very little. My husband grew most of the veg. we ate.

A pressure cooker will cook a lovely meal in under half an hour, but I'm the only person I know who uses one now. Mine came from a car boot sale! Pressure cookery at no more than 15psi is very, very safe. My traction engine works at about 100psi and the compound steam roller at about 180psi!
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